Sen. Robert Menendez pressed Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke to focus more of their efforts on problems in the commercial real estate markets.
"The authorities did not heed my warning when I predicted a tsunami of residential foreclosures in March 2007," the New Jersey Democrat wrote in a letter dated Thursday. "I am now deeply concerned about a tsunami of commercial real estate foreclosures and what actions we are taking to avoid that."
Menendez pointed to high vacancy rates and tight credit as his biggest concerns about the commercial real estate market.
"The federal government can, and must, craft solutions that help kick-start commercial lending and the market for commercial mortgage-backed securities," he wrote.
The Fed and the Treasury have worked together to launch the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, which provides liquidity for CMBS, among other securities. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Monday it received $2.1 billion in Talf loan requests tied to older CMBS.