Experts say the financing market is at its worst in 20 years, and the credit crunch will probably last over the next few years as the financial services industry struggles to regain capital. Declining real estate values and rising costs have led to a decrease in liquid assets, prompting financing companies to create more stringent guidelines for taking out loans. Now, getting over $500 million in financing is difficult, while loans over $1 billion are nearly impossible. However, some say the decline is a correction from a few years ago when underwriting standards were stretched beyond reasonable levels of risk. As The Real Deal reports this month, investment banks, which for many years fed the real estate boom by offering easy credit, then packaging loan deals together in securities and selling them to investors at a profit, have limped away from that market.