Japan's Bad Loans: The Slowest Fire Sale On Earth

Japan is the place to load up on assets--unless you're in a hurry

It's 4 a.m., and Jack Rodman is killing time. Too jet-lagged to sleep, Rodman can only talk on the phone until the gym opens at his Tokyo hotel--the kind of problem you run into when you're director for Asia at E&Y Kenneth Leventhal Real Estate Group. Shuttling between Los Angeles and Japan, Rodman is used to jet lag--and to waiting. For four years, he has been working on deals to sell Japanese bank loans to investors. But it's slow going. "All the pieces are in place for a market," he says. "They keep forgetting one thing: Sell the loans."

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