The selling of America
Dylan Ratigan and The Huffington Post have embarked on a project to bring to light a troubling issue that I first learned about in Matt Taibbi‘s excellent book, Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America (buy it here or here).
The project is called America For Sale, and starts with America for Sale: Is Goldman Sachs Buying Your City?
Goldman Sachs, through “sovereign wealth funds” is helping foreigners purchase public property from states and municipalities.
These sales are often done for pennies on the dollar to satisfy immediate cashflow problems, and provide the mostly anonymous investors with monopolies such as parking meters, toll roads, etc.
The scope of this financial takeover of public assets, facilitated by an all too eager banking industry is staggering:
Says Quadrant Real Estate Advisors: “Most assets are monopolistic in nature and have limited competitors, creating the opportunity for stable, long-term investment returns. Investment choices include economic assets and social assets.” Quadrant notes that the market size is between $12-20 trillion, roughly the size of the American mortgage market.
The implications of these arrangements are legion, and it’s hard to see anything good resulting from them.
- Harrisburg’s ‘Bad Deal’: City Forced To Pursue Parking Privatization (huffingtonpost.com)
- For States Pondering Toll Road Privatization, Indiana Is A Cautionary Tale (huffingtonpost.com)
- New parking meters among changes to fix collection woes, Transportation Department says (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
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