From Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/economy/155276/the_new_wall_street_racket_looting_your_city%2C_one_block_at_a_time/
New schemes hold the public hostage to private finance.
By Matt Reichel
May 7, 2012
May 7, 2012
When Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced a “new and innovative” financing tool last month to help Chicago renovate failing infrastructure without precipitating another budget crisis, many in the city were understandably critical.
Chicagoans have already endured the notorious 75-year lease of their parking meters to a consortium headed by Morgan Stanley. That sale promulgated a system wherein the public is held hostage by private finance, due largely to the inclusion of arcane legal stipulations like “non-compete clauses” and “compensation events” in the language of the contract.
Ellen Danin, writing in the Northwestern Journal of Law and Social Policy relates that: “Chicagoans learned about compensation events when CBS reported that the city’s parking meter contract required reimbursement for events like repairing streets. Public records showed that in the first quarter of 2009, the city was liable to the parking meter contractor for more than $106,000 in lost income during the slow months for street repair and street closings for festivals, parades, and holidays, as well as repairs and maintenance. At that rate, it is not unreasonable to predict that Chicago will owe roughly $500,000 a year to the private contractor.”
The city essentially acts as an insurer for the meter merchants, with the return being a one-time injection of roughly a billion dollars that the previous mayor, Daley the Second, haphazardly exhausted on closing budget deficits in the waning years of his two-decade tour at the helm.
With the current infrastructure deal, Emanuel has repeatedly claimed that this is not privatization: This is not like the parking meter deal. Can the public believe him?