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This Day In Market History: Japanese Investor Buys Pebble Beach Golf Resort In Infamous Real Estate Deal

Wayne Duggan

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened?

On this day 29 years ago, Japanese real estate developer Minoru Isutani bought the Pebble Beach golf resort for $841 million.

Where The Market Was

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 2,628.22 and the S&P 500 traded at 324.39.

What Else Was Going On In The World?

In 1990, General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) launched the Saturn car model. “The Simpsons” began airing on Fox for the first time. Federal U.S. interest rates finished the year at 10 percent.

Real Estate Blunder

Isutani’s purchase of Pebble Beach was one of several high-profile U.S. real estate investments by Japanese investors at the time, sparking concerns among critics that Japanese buyers were taking over the entire U.S. economy.

However, in less than two years time, it became painfully clear Isutani’s purchase was among the worst real estate deals in history. Plagued by debt and controversy surrounding his alleged ties to Japanese organized crime, he was forced to sell Pebble Beach for an estimated $500 million, taking a $341 million loss on the property.

Today, Pebble Beach Golf Links is owned by Pebble Beach Co. and hosts annual PGA Tour events. The public course is among the most expensive courses in the world, charging a $525 green fee per round.

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