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Summary: "In this excerpt from his new book, Matt Taibbi describes how our cash-strapped country is auctioning off its highways, ports and even parking meters at fire sale prices - and finding eager buyers in the unregulated sovereign wealth funds of oil-rich Middle Eastern countries."

The Chicago Skyway Toll Bridge System is leased to Cintra-Macquarie, a joint venture between Spanish and Australian companies, 09/22/05. (photo: flickr/Josh Evnin)
The Chicago Skyway Toll Bridge System is leased to Cintra-Macquarie, a joint venture between Spanish and Australian companies, 09/22/05. (photo: flickr/Josh Evnin)

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+6 # bys1955 2010-10-27 11:35
So let me get this straight....par king meters are now owned by lets say some emir in Qatar? When there is a violation, the cops are writing tickets and theoretically enforcing the corporate policies of Doha? Cool! I love the new world order!!!--

Can we buy Dubai gift cards for free parking for Ramadan? Or Christmas? or Hanukah?.....

THis gives a whole new meaning to the word concessions...U nited States is now the Land of the Fee.
 
 
+3 # emma 2010-10-27 12:15
"Who are they looking out for, the residents or Morgan Stanley?"

What a silly question.
 
 
+14 # JCM 2010-10-27 13:07
Ali, did you know that since WW2 there were no major bank failures until Reagan started the deregulation of the financial industry. Every major bank failure since then has been under a Republican, especially under W. That’s what deregulation has done for our country!
 
 
+2 # Clark 2010-10-27 13:09
WTF is this?
 
 
+11 # DaveW. 2010-10-27 13:11
The "Americans" who are involved in this type of "fire sale" and are making fist fulls of money at it are really not Americans at all. I'm not talking about some "patriotic purity" test here. Simply, when the country is gutted and left for dead financially the wealthy will simply move somewhere else. To a new locale that they can exploit. Joe Average back here in the land of the Big Mac, the Big Gulp and the Big Headache will have no option except to take his lumps. There is no honor amongst thieves. That doesn't change no matter where you come from. I wonder what Taibbi said to his "friend."
 
 
+2 # WhoDunnit? 2010-10-27 13:31
Better yet; who'll stop it?
 
 
+18 # Foxtrottango 2010-10-27 14:19
America went for sale when Ronald Reagan became president and the appointment of five conservative supreme court jesters closed the deal!

America don't need anymore enemies.

Let's impeach the whole lot (starting with Roberts, Thomas and the others, in that order. Than let's jail anyone that is guilty by association, the TEA Party, the GOP, republicans, Wall Street, FOX news and it's zombies, those bleach blonds and rambling fools on their casts.
 
 
+5 # rob 2010-10-27 16:30
Modern "privatization" was instigated by Rothschild during the Reagan and Thatcher Era.
 
 
+10 # Alturn 2010-10-27 16:50
How about the Naval Training Center in San Diego? 350 acres of prime ($1 billion market value) San Diego bayfront property given to a developer for $8, though the local paper said $350. Lock, stock and barrel given away along with tax credits and property tax revenues that are costing government at all levels over $250 million in lost and diverted-to-dev elopers-and-gov ernment cronies tax revenues.

This theft of public land that occurred in the '90s and was finalized in the early 2000s was particularly transparent because of the desirable location and ease of reuse by the public of the facilities. But the stripping of assets for the few as taught by wall street is the mantra of the day. When the people finally wake up nothing of value will likely be left. What happened to 'we the people'?
 
 
+1 # des 2010-10-27 17:31
Remember the TARP bank bailout ... just which depositors were going to pull the plug? Who said "don't bounce MY cheque!"
Just who would have wrecked the economy?
Who got the Tarp funds?

If I managed one of those SWF's ... and my money was "lost" ... you couldn't have bought a barrel of oil for a $1,000 of funny printed greenbacks.

The game was lost by JW and his cronies .. and the other team own the football ... its nice they still play.
 
 
+1 # gabriel lori 2010-10-28 14:32
Wow,does anyone know if their is a police force for Sale?? Somewhere???
 
 
+1 # SuomynonA 2010-10-29 09:01
# gabriel lori : lol very thoughtful

I'm too interested in police stuff maybe a police car or uniforms or any other police accessories.

My prediction in a few years from now is that you will be able to buy a room in a hospital and rent it out to others when they get sick just like we do with houses/apartmen ts!
 
 
+2 # Tori 2010-10-29 09:08
Astonishing. And the solution is? Time to start producing our own energy sources like hemp and mushroom oils.
 
 
+1 # Thomas 2010-10-30 02:09
And I thought that the 1973 oil crisis was because of OPEC's reluctance to accept an ever inflating US dollar,made so by the Johnson/Nixon administrations ' need to print money to pay for the unpopular war in Indochina.
 
 
+1 # TheCoyote 2010-10-31 10:48
Remember when it was the Republicans who were always warning about plots to drag America into a 'One World' government? Now, irony of ironies, it's those very same grifters that are facilitating that takeover, all in the interest of globalization (apparently an OK term, unlike One World) and International Corporation.
Will the American people wake up in time to stop this? I doubt it. We're to busy getting our reality from TV and from our compromised media.
 
 
0 # Brien Desilets 2010-11-01 06:27
Very entertaining but fairly loose with the facts. Not that I’m usually in the position of defending Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, but I think the Tom Clancy spin on the events actually detracts from focusing on the real issues of what could be improved in some of these deals.

*The author's constant reference to Arab or Middle Eastern SWFs borders on racism. SWFs from many other regions are among the largest SWFs in the world
http://www.gfmag.com/tools/global-database/economic-data/10300-largest-sovereign-wealth-funds-swf-2010-ranking.html

In terms of investments in infrastructure, some less politically interesting groups are also benefitting. One of the most aggressive pension funds in this space is the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), but I guess they make for less interesting villains than Arab sheiks. US pension funds are finally seeing the wisdom of the strategy and now are allocating a percentage of investments to infrastructure. The Dallas Police and Fire Pension System invested in two recent infrastructure deals in Texas. Where’s the exposé on that?
 
 
0 # Brien Desilets 2010-11-01 06:28
*Oil and other commodity prices have peaked and remained elevated in recent years not because of some Machiavellian plot by a group of clever Wall Street investment bankers but because of booming global economic growth, most notably growth rates at or near 10 percent for the economies with the world’s two largest populations: India and China.

*The original right of way and investment into what would become the Pennsylvania Turnpike was done privately, by William Vanderbilt in the 1880s.

*The author’s paranoid reference to colonization and fear of Arab investment in the US are similar to the outcries against Japanese investment in the US in the 1980s. To date, I haven’t seen any one in the US being forced to learn Japanese or pay tribute to the Emperor.

*I guess everything is relative but I’m not sure I would say the price of oil was stable from 1980-2005. Its dip in the end of the 1980s is one of the reasons cited for the fall of the Soviet Union, among other insignificant effects.
 

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