The much-maligned collateralized debt obligation (CDO) appears to be set to play a crucial role in the refinancing of maturing commercial mortgages and the recapitalization of the recovering commercial real estate (CRE) market. Only no one is calling these deals CDOs.

CRE values have made an unexpected, yet uneven, comeback from the depths of the recession, leaving many property owners still owing too much to hold on to their shopping malls, office buildings, hotels and industrial buildings--unless new capital is introduced.

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