January 13, 2008
Chicago is now like any other third world nation victimized by the banksters, as the Chicago Tribune reported yesterday. Jon Hilkevitch didn’t exactly put it that way, but he may as well have.
|Chicago Parking Meters LLC sounds like it is a homegrown business. It isn’t.|
“The quadrupling of fees this year to park at most [parking] meters in Chicago marks only the beginning of changes coming to a curbside near your car,” writes Hilkevitch. “You can of course bid a nostalgic farewell to the decades-old pole-mounted meters with coin slots and expiration flags, as a result of the almost $1.2 billion deal Mayor Richard Daley announced last month to outsource parking management in the city over the next 75 years to Chicago Parking Meters LLC.”
Chicago Parking Meters LLC sounds like it is a homegrown business. It isn’t. Chicago Parking Meters LLC is a “consortium” owned and operated by Morgan Stanley, the bankster “investment” firm that managed to heist billions from the beleaguered U.S. taxpayer. Even the corporate media now tells the truth about this outrageous scam — the Treasury Department in collusion with the banksters had no intention of purchasing failed mortgage assets. Instead, they have used taxpayer money to buy preferred shares of stock in select banks, that is to say they are consolidating power and control and allowing smaller banks and institutions to die off.
The so-called “recapitalization” scam is nothing if not an effort to fleece the clueless. Bank of American Corp. squeezed $15 billion out of the taxpayers and turned around and doubled its stake in the authoritarian state-owned China Construction Bank Corp. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. took $7.7 billion of Troubled Assets Relief Program cash and promptly bought National City Corp. U.S. Bancorp grabbed $6.6 billion of “capital infusion” money and acquired two California lenders.
“One purpose of this plan is to drive consolidation,” an anonymous Treasury official told the New York Times in October. In fact, it is the primary purpose.
In addition to scooping up lesser banks and consolidating, the international banksters are going after public infrastructure, as the residents of Chicago are learning the hard way. “Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the Carlyle Group, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse are among the investors who have amassed an estimated $250 billion war chest — much of it raised in the last two years — to finance a tidal wave of infrastructure projects in the United States and overseas,” the New York Times reported last August. “Their strategy is gaining steam in the United States as federal, state and local governments previously wary of private funds struggle under mounting deficits that have curbed their ability to improve crumbling roads, bridges and even airports with taxpayer money.”
It’s called “public-private partnerships,” but in fact is a corporate big government partnership, in other words classic fascism under the rubric of so-called “free trade” and privatization. Modern “public-private partnerships” have their roots in corporatism. “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power,” said the grand daddy of fascism, Benito Mussolini.
“Fascist governments are favorable to the interests of enterprise, at least the interests of large-scale enterprises. Great private combines existed and were encouraged under Hitler, Tojo, and Mussolini. Fascism represents, if you will, a kind of large-scale, public-private partnership,” writes John Chuckman.
“We are seeking a broad array of stable infrastructure opportunities, and this investment represents an important step in the build-out of our infrastructure business,” Sadek Wahba, who heads up Morgan Stanley’s infrastructure investments, said in 2006.
No doubt it is an ideal “infrastructure investment” for the banksters, but a rotten deal for the people of Chicago who are now one step up from similar victims in the third world.
In 2007, Business Week told us “banks and private investment firms have fallen in love with public infrastructure. They’re smitten by the rich cash flows that roads, bridges, airports, parking garages, and shipping ports generate — and the monopolistic advantages that keep those cash flows as steady as a beating heart. Firms are so enamored, in fact, that they’re beginning to consider infrastructure a brand new asset class in itself.”
For millions of people in Africa, Latin America, and elsewhere in the third world, this predatory behavior is not “a brand new asset,” but one that has been used for decades to rob them blind and enslave them to the “monopolistic advantages” of transnational corporations and the international bankers.
It is now coming to America, symbolized by the Golden Gate and Brooklyn bridges going up on the chopping block.