Leaving his Pennsylvania steel town home as a young man, author Kenneth D. Campbell scrambled to land a magazine writer’s job in Manhattan. He followed his new boss’s instruction to “Watch that rat hole,” newspaper slang for a “beat” or coverage topic. Campbell’s “rat hole” was the real estate investment trusts or REITs, untested entities just approved by Congress.
In Watch that Rat Hole, Campbell intertwines his personal journey with his unique observations as an investment newsletter editor witnessing the REIT Revolution-his rat hole. He tells how that casual assignment became a distinguished lifework in three areas:
Writing-Campbell wrote an influential REIT stock market newsletter and co-authored the first hardcover REIT book;
Investment banking-He and his partner advised on more than two dozen mergers and acquisitions.
Managing money-Campbell co-founded a major real estate investment trusts.
In addition, he provides an insider’s take on investment styles of 1980s activists including Carl Icahn, Michael Milken, Leland Speed, Sam Zell, and Warren Buffett and their nearly two dozen company purchases and takeovers. And, he presents valuable insights into a number of business and stock market issues.
Offering personal recollections of the world of real-estate investment, Watch that Rat Hole gives insight into REITs, this little-understood-but pivotal-area of business and finance.
An excerpt from “Watch that Rat Hole”:
“Watch that rat hole.”
The speaker is my new boss, Gurney Breckenfeld. As assistant managing editor of House & Home magazine (H&H), Gurney runs the best news operation in the housing business. The date is Friday, February 3, 1961-two weeks after John F. Kennedy’s inauguration as the thirty-fifth president of the United States brings Camelot to Washington. It is my first full day in H&H’s Rockefeller Center offices in Manhattan.
Gurney’s “rat hole” is journalese shorthand for a beat, a topic to be covered intensively and mined for future stories. Just as city hall and police headquarters were, in earlier times, my beats-my rat holes- Gurney is now giving me a new one.
“Watch that Rat Hole”
By Kenneth D. Campbell
Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 582 pages | ISBN 9781480823143
Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 582 pages | ISBN 9781480823167
E-Book | 582 pages | ISBN 9781480823150
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble
About the Author
Kenneth D. Campbell created and edited an influential investment newsletter for 20 years; co-wrote “The Real Estate Trusts: America’s Newest Billionaires,” his first full-length book on REITs; and co-founded a global firm managing $22 billion in assets. Now 86, Campbell lives with Irene, his wife of 54 years, outside Philadelphia. More information is available at watchthatrathole.com.
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Review by R.G.Richardson