Rich get richer, crisis or no crisis

The Loch Ness monster on RBS boss' pension, cartoon

From British weekly The Observer:

Revealed: bosses’ huge pension pots

Retirement top-up deals promise £1m a year to Britain’s leading executives despite the downturn as the gap between bosses and workers widens

Britain: The gulf between rich and poor is wider after more than a decade of New Labour government than at any point under Margaret Thatcher: here.

7 thoughts on “Rich get richer, crisis or no crisis

  1. Economy may downsize infrastructure privatizations

    Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:50pm EDT

    By Karen Pierog – Analysis

    CHICAGO (Reuters) – The demise of a deal to lease Chicago’s Midway Airport to private operators may put the brakes on the privatization of bigger and high-profile government assets as the global recession eats into the availability of financing.

    Financing for future deals may become more selective even as increasing numbers of state and local governments turn to leasing their assets to bolster coffers diminished by the sagging economy.

    “It’s very, very much deal specific,” said Dana Levenson, managing director and head of North American infrastructure banking at Royal Bank of Scotland.

    “Clearly this is a setback, but a slight setback for the industry,” he added, referring to the failed Midway deal.

    The mega deal for Midway Airport was to produce a $2.52 billion upfront payment to Chicago in exchange for a 99-year lease. But Chicago Chief Financial Officer Gene Saffold said on Monday that the inability of the winning lease bidder, Midway Investment and Development Company, to secure financing killed the deal.

    The company is made up of Citigroup (C.N) unit Citi Infrastructure Investors, YVR Airport Services Ltd and John Hancock Life Insurance Company.

    With the Midway deal’s high cost and the airport’s limited potential for increased revenue, the death of the transaction was not surprising, said H. Woods Bowman, professor of public service at DePaul University in Chicago.

    “I don’t see much of a future for such deals because the typical deal is highly leveraged, and credit on that scale will be hard to come by for a long time,” he said. “There is probably a niche for low-leverage, low-risk projects, however.”

    Levenson, a former Chicago CFO who worked on the city’s first lease deal for the Skyway toll bridge, said deals will continue to take place for smaller assets such as those involving parking facilities.

    “Those more prosaic assets are more financeable,” he said.

    For Chicago, which is struggling with budget problems, the Midway deal marks the first privatization not to be consummated after a successful bidding process.

    Since the $1.83 billion Skyway deal in 2005, the city has leased other assets, including parking garages and parking meters, in exchange for upfront payments. Those funds allowed Chicago to pay off the leased assets’ outstanding debt, fund specific programs and provide a financial cushion for the city budget.

    Saffold said the city was not giving up on a deal for Midway.

    “We continue to believe that a long-term lease of Midway Airport would provide great benefit to Chicago taxpayers and residents — including providing hundreds of millions to invest in city infrastructure,” he said on Monday, adding the city retains the right to rebid the Midway deal when financial market conditions improve.

    The city also retains $126 million in earnest money from the failed Midway deal with $80 million set aside to help balance the city’s budget this year and next, Saffold said.

    (Reporting by Karen Pierog; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)


    The Bail Out the People Movement is announcing three important projects:


    Saturday, September. 19 & Sunday, September 20, 2009
    (tentative dates)

    Bail Out People – Not Banks
    Money for Social Needs – Not War and Greed
    Jobs, Housing, Healthcare & Education are a Right
    Organize – Mobilize – Resist – Unite – Fight Back!

    The third G20 summit is going to be in NYC on or around September 20, 2009. The G20 summits are taking place in response to the greatest worldwide economic crisis since the 1930s. However, the purpose of these high-level meetings of governments and bankers is not to rescue the people of the world from depression level unemployment, evictions, homelessness, poverty, social and economic inequality and war. These summits are about fixing the economic and financial order that puts profits before people-and fixing that system by creating more poverty, misery and suffering.

    The last G20 Summit held in London in early April was met with massive protests both in London and throughout Europe.
    Now that the G20 is coming to the U.S., it is up to activists and organizations here to take up the challenge of uniting and working together to organize the widest protests possible. BOPM urges activists and organizations to endorse the call for protest at the G20 Summit in the fall, and to begin organizing for it. The potential for mass mobilization in September is truly infinite. So let’s begin the work required to realize that powerful potential.



    (In conjunction with the UN Summit on the World Economic Crisis, June 1-3 in New York City)

    People’s Economic Summit
    Starting Time – 11:00 am (tentative)
    Inside the People’s Summit Tent
    in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 47th St. & 1st Ave.

    >From June 1–3, The General Assembly of the UN will hold a summit on the world economic crisis in NYC. The UN is holding its own economic summit out of the concern that the 192 member nations of the UN are being marginalized by the G20 summit meetings.

    In conjunction with this meeting, on Sunday May 31, the Bail Out the People Movement will hold a people’s summit on
    the world economic crisis in NYC outside the UN under a large tent in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza.

    Come to the PEOPLE’S ECONOMIC SUMMIT–Share information and insight on how the economic is affecting poor and working people all over the U.S. and all over the world. Participate in panels and workshops. Help formulate a vision for a future free of social and economic inequality and injustice. Help plan the fight to make that vision a reality.

    Planning for the G20 summit meeting in NYC in September, and forming the structures that will make organizing for the G20 inclusive and effective, will be high on the list of priorities at the People’s Economic Summit.


    Come to the:

    JUNE 14-17, 2009

    Four Days of Active Resistance, Political Discussion and Strategizing for a “People’s Stimulus Plans” and an “Economic Bill of Rights” for Working People and the Poor

    On June 15-17, 2009, the National Business Summit, sponsored by the Detroit Economic Club, will take place at Ford Field. Millionaire capitalists like the heads of Conoco-Phillips, Dow Chemical, General Motors, Chrysler, Humana Inc., Ascension Health, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, BNSF Railway Co., and PVS Chemicals, as well as the presidents of the National Council on Competitiveness and U.S. Chamber of Commerce, will gather at this summit. President Barack Obama and cabinet members have been invited.

    These wealthy businessmen (yes, almost all of them are rich white men) will put their greedy heads together to discuss “innovation and policy ideas in technology, energy, environment and manufacturing.” In other words, they will be strategizing on how to further increase their profits at the expense of the ever-shrinking middle class, the vast working class and the growing millions living in utter poverty.

    The National Business Summit will be held in a city with record-high unemployment and poverty rates, lay-offs, budget cuts, school closings, utility rate hikes and shut-offs and massive home foreclosures. With a registration fee of $1,495, it is unlikely that any victims of foreclosures and evictions, let alone laid-off workers, will be able to attend the National Business Summit. No one at this event will be speaking in the interests of those most affected by the economic collapse.

    The People’s Summit will be a dynamic event. During the People’s Summit, organizers will implement a moratorium on
    foreclosure evictions by going into the neighborhoods and supporting homeowners who are willing to confront the bailiffs. If there is a strike, demonstration or sit-in, the People’s Summit will join it. The People’s Summit will confront the big-business CEOs and politicians gathering next door. Join us!

    • Bail out the people!
    • Jobs, healthcare, housing and education for all
    • Moratorium on foreclosures, evictions and utility
    shutoffs; housing is a right!
    • Stop budget cuts and restore social services funding
    • Stop tuition hikes and school closings
    • Moratorium on layoffs, plant closings, pension thefts and union-busting; A job at a living wage is a right!
    • End racism, sexism and anti-LGBT attacks
    • Stop attacks on immigrants
    . Bail out youth and students
    • No more police brutality
    • U.S. troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan
    • Money for jobs and human needs, not war

    Here’s how you can help:

    1) Endorse the call to action:

    2) Become an organizer:

    3) Donate to help with organizing:

    4) Spread the word!


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