Has our mogul-worshipping swamp fever finally collapsed?


Has our mogul-worshipping swamp fever finally broken?

Bob Henery

“The secret of great success that you cannot explain is a crime that was properly carried out and never discovered.”

Balzac

As the nation’s legal system nears collapse as it seeks to pin former presidents on suspicion of serious crimes and a lifetime of misdemeanor charges, we are, more than ever, subject to all the attention. But it might be wise to take a look at how a lust for wealth has enabled someone like Donald Trump.

We tend to blame him for everything now, but it’s worth pulling back a bit to see that he’s just one in the pantheon of hard-charging moguls. they. We can’t really get over Trump unless we confront the dark side of ourselves that enables him and people like him.

The truth is that there is a platinum-plated conveyor belt at the heart of the American Dream Machine that our social desires are greasing. I have heartfelt admiration for these personalities who know what they want and go to great lengths to get it. Call it our Shadow His Self-Large.

Elected two former partners of Goldman Sachs as presidents.

gold in the quagmire

There is perhaps no example of the state’s political leaders of both parties preoccupied with enormous wealth than the way Trenton was played by the procession of developers who promised to build megamalls in the Meadowlands. First branded as Xanadu during the McGreevey era, it was later reopened as American Dream Meadowlands by Governor Chris Christie.

It seems we haven’t done enough due diligence on them because “the stakes are so high”.

Think how relieved New Jersey was in the summer of 2006 when Colony Capital LLC CEO Tom Barrack rode into the New Jersey Meadowlands and “rescued” the financially troubled Xanadu, aka American Dream Megamall. please give me. The project was started by Mills, Inc., a Virginia developer that floundered a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and eventually filed for bankruptcy.

Mills Corporation’s board of directors included Charlie Black of the infamous K Street global lobbying firm Black. [Paul] Manafort & [Roger] Stone’s list of clients included Donald Trump and heavyweights such as Jonas Savimbi of Angola and Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines.

A large political contributor to both parties, Mills gave Gov. James McGreevey and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, led by George Zoffinger, a proposed 14-story indoor ski dome and 220 ski domes. The 10,000-square-foot Xanadu could be convinced.The combination of entertainment and retail space will not only revive the state’s sports complex, but also help keep the Jets, Nets, and Devils alive.

Moguls to the rescue

In a 2006 article headlined “Meadowlands Troubled Xanadu Entertainment Complex Relief,” The New York Times stated that Colony Capital was “a privately held company with a portfolio of hotels and resorts worldwide, including the Hilton in Atlantic City and resort casinos.” I own a casino.” Its principal, Tom Barrack, was named “The World’s Greatest Real Estate Investor” on the cover of Fortune magazine last October. ”

“Ballack has made deals with Saudi princes, Texas oil companies, Caribbean dictators and even Donald Trump,” said the same funny Fortune profile in 2006. With a retractable roof, it was worth as much as the purchase price. He bought and sold the Plaza Hotel in New York City, making a profit of $160 million, plus Tony of London, where he made a profit of $270 million, buying his Savoy chain. Even Trump said, “Tom has an amazing vision of the future and an ability to see what will happen that is second to none.”

Fortune magazine described Barack as “a swashbuckler who moves at breakneck speed yet exudes a gentle aura” and used his ties to Saudi princes in 1976 to cast him as the murderous Haitian dictator. Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier.

“The princes of the barracks said they could arrange for the kingdom to give Haiti a discount. said Fortune. “In the palace, where the chubby Baby Doc sits on his throne, Barrack pitched the virtues of trade. Midway through his appeal, Baby Doc interrupted. asked, referring to a $200,000 diamond-encrusted Piaget watch worn by one. When the barracks ended, Duvalier asked another question: “Can I keep an eye on it?” Baby Doc got Piaget, opening the door for Saudi oil to come to Haiti. ”

By August 2010, Barack’s Colony had to give up on completing its embattled mall project, which was built on land belonging to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and had already spent $2 billion. Along the way, public pension retirement funds in Iowa, Mississippi, Alaska, Texas and New York have all spent hundreds of millions of dollars chasing Xanadu and the promised high returns from the American Dream Meadowlands. However, it never seems to have materialized.

keep digging

Meanwhile, New Jersey continued to double its “investment” in the project through both Democratic and Republican administrations. As a result, hundreds of millions of dollars have been channeled through the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in the form of direct and indirect state grants, as well as improvements to state highways and railroads.

Of course, this was done to Jeff Titter’s consistently prescient objections, and at the Sierra Club at the time. By 2011, it was up to Gov. Chris Christie to ask Congress to increase state support for Swamp Mall on behalf of Mall of America’s Canadian developer, Triple 5.

“It’s an American scheme because it takes care of developers at the expense of New Jersey taxpayers,” said Jeff Titter, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club at the time. We sided with special interest groups over the financial health of our state.While teachers, police and firefighters are laid off, we donate hundreds of millions of dollars of corporate welfare to Canadian developers. It’s a schedule.”

According to Tittel, Triple Five will receive tax-boosted loans under the terms of the deal, allowing it to “reinvest taxes in development rather than paying them to the state, while the facility still has access to state and police resources.” We need local government services such as

In May of this year, Bloomberg News reported that American Dream, under the management of the Triple 5 of Mall of America fame, would lose $60 million in 2021 and pay $173 million for $232 million in expenses. It reportedly made millions of dollars in revenue. According to Bloomberg, the distressed project generated $305 million in sales.

In addition to outside construction loans, American Dream notes that “$290 million in sales taxes are backing municipal bonds, and $800 million in municipal bonds are being paid in lieu of property taxes.” We reported total debt of $2.6 billion and equity of approximately $500 million.”

And what happened to Tom Barack, who was just one in a long line of pitchmen for Xanadu/American Dream?

The search for former President Trump’s Mar-a-Largo residence took a storm last week, so it was easy to miss a criminal case in Brooklyn. dismissed allegations to remove ankle bracelets for house arrest next month.

“Keyman”

Barack has been a longtime Trump ally, advising on the 2016 campaign, leading a cursory inaugural committee and serving as the Trump administration’s highest-level outside adviser on Middle East affairs. “Ballack introduced Trump to his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, to facilitate conversations, strengthen Trump’s ties with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and help realign the Middle East.” Forbes reported in 2018.

Last July, Barack was indicted along with two other men on suspicion of being involved in a “conspiracy to illegally advance and further the interests of the United Arab Emirates in this country,” according to prosecutors. .

“These arrests serve as a warning to those who act at the direction of foreign governments without disclosing their actions, and to those who seek to mislead investigators about their actions, that they will be brought to justice and Will face the consequences: US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Jacqueline M. Kasulis.

Barack’s lawyers argued that one of Barack’s $250 million bonds, one of the largest ever, was enough, according to the Daily News.

Judge Brian Cogan said, “Even with current economic and travel restrictions, Barack has extensive resources and extensive contacts around the world.” It is not surprising that Barrack, faced with the possibility of a No. This risk only increases as the exam gets closer.”

Trump is not the problem.It is the prototype of the “swashbuckler” we Increase.

(32 visits, 33 visits today)



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *