The Wall Street firm is itself walking away from five San Francisco office buildings it purchased as part of a landmark $2.43 billion deal near the height of the real estate boom. But don't call it a foreclosure or a default -- not when this kind of money is involved. A spokeswoman interviewed by Bloomberg News called it "a negotiated transfer to our lenders."
"It highlights the double standard we have in this country," White says. "Businesses strategically default all the time and, in fact, they should -- they're obligated to maximize profits and minimize losses. But so should homeowners."