The secret of great success that you are at a loss for explanation is a crime that has never been discovered because it was done properly. — Honore de Balzac
As the nation’s legal system teeters on the verge of collapsing and seeks to pin former presidents on suspicion of serious crimes and a lifetime of misdemeanor charges, we’re more fixated on the subject than ever before. But it might be wise to take a look at how a lust for wealth has enabled someone like Donald Trump.
Now we tend to blame him for everything, but back off a bit, Trump is just one in a pantheon of ferocious moguls elevated to near demigod status by granting him some kind of omnipotence. It’s worth making sure it’s not. on them. We will never get over Trump unless we confront the dark side of ourselves that made him and people like him possible.
The truth is that there is a platinum-plated conveyor belt at the heart of the American Dream Machine, anointed by our social greed. My home state of New Jersey, where so much wealth is concentrated So my heartfelt admiration for these personalities who know what they want and go to great lengths to get it. I have. Call it our Shadow Self-Large. As far as I know, New Jersey is the only state that has elected two former Goldman Sachs partners as governors. (Additionally, both are Democrats. Current Governors Phil Murphy and John Corzine are our governors, and were previously U.S. Senators.)
At the heart of the American Dream Machine is a platinum-plated conveyor belt, and the sad story of the New Jersey Meadowlands Mega Mall is a perfect illustration.
As much as how the procession of developers who promised to build megamalls in New Jersey’s Meadowlands played Trenton, shows how our state’s political leadership — of both parties — was lured in by great wealth. First branded as Xanadu under former Gov. Jim McGreevey, then relaunched as American Dream Meadowlands by Gov. Chris Christie.
It seems that they never did enough due diligence on these projects, based on the absurd justification of “too high risk”.
In the summer of 2006, when Colony Capital LLC CEO Tom Barrack rode into the Meadowlands to “rescue” the financially-strapped Xanadu, also known as the American Dream Project initiated by Mills Corporation, Think how relieved the state was. A Virginia developer who fell foul of an SEC investigation and ultimately filed for bankruptcy.
Mills’ board included Charlie Black of the infamous K Street global lobbying firm Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly. Pole manafort and Roger stone. That company’s client list included Donald Trump and several quasi-dictatorial heavyweights in developing countries like Jonas Savimbi of Angola and Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines.
A major donor to both parties, Mills has partnered with McGreevey and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, headed by George Zoffinger, for a proposed 14-story indoor ski dome and 2.2 million square feet of space. It was able to convince Xanadu with entertainment and retail space — helping to revive state sports facilities and keep the NFL’s New York Jets, NBA’s New Jersey Nets (then named), and NHL’s New Jersey Devils There is a possibility.
In a 2006 article headlined “Meadowlands Troubled Xanadu Entertainment Complex Relief,” The New York Times stated that Colony Capital was “a non-profit organization that owns hotels and casinos around the world, including the Hilton and resort casinos in Atlantic City.” It is a public company,” he said. Principal Tom He Barack was described as “the world’s greatest real estate investor” on the cover of Fortune magazine last October. ”
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“Ballack has made deals with Saudi princes, Texas oil companies, Caribbean dictators and even Donald Trump,” said Fortune’s zany profile. “He’s Japan’s Yankee Stadium.” One of the reasons we bought the Fukuoka Dome was because we calculated that the titanium in the retractable roof was worth the same amount as the purchase price – similar to the Tony Savoy chain in London, which made another $270 million. Even Trump said, “Tom has an amazing vision of the future. His ability to see what will happen 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 slay the murdered Haitian dictator Jean-Marc. = I explained in detail how I got a very profitable tripartite contract with Claude. “Baby Doc” Duvalier:
The barrack princes said they could arrange for the kingdom to give Haiti a discount. All they needed was for Haiti to retaliate by extending diplomatic ties and most-favored-nation status to Saudi Arabia. In a palace where round Baby Doc perched on a throne, Barrack touted the virtues of trade. Midway through his plea, Baby Doc interrupted. “Can I try on the watch?” he asked, referring to a $200,000 diamond-encrusted Piaget watch worn by one of the princes. The prince agreed. When the barracks ended, Duvalier asked another question: “Can I keep an eye on it?” Baby Doc got Piaget, paving the way for Saudi oil to come to Haiti.
By August 2010, Barrack’s Colony had to give up on completing its beleaguered mall project, which had already spent $2 billion. In the process, public pension retirement funds in Iowa, Mississippi, Alaska, Texas, and New York are all chasing the high returns promised from their never-seen-before investments in Xanadu/American Dream projects. , spent hundreds of millions of dollars in money. Embody.
Meanwhile, New Jersey continued to double its “investment” in the project through both Democratic and Republican administrations. This meant pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into projects in the form of direct and indirect state grants, as well as improvements to state highways and railroads through the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
This, of course, was done against the consistent and far-sighted objections of Jeff Titter, an environmental advocate for the Sierra Club at the time. By 2011, Gov. Chris Christie asked Swamp to step up state support for his mall, replacing another of his developers, Triple Five, the Canadian conglomerate that built the Mall of America in Minnesota. I had to ask Congress.
New Jersey, like many victims of fraud and scams, continued to double down on its “investment” in swamp malls.
“It’s an American scheme because it’s going to take care of developers at the expense of New Jersey taxpayers,” said Titter, then director of the Sierra Club in New Jersey. The State Senate said, “We stand with special interest groups over the financial health of our state. Teachers, police and firefighters are being laid off, but we are giving hundreds of millions of dollars of corporate welfare to Canadians.” I’m going to give it away,’ he said. “
According to Tittel, under the terms of the deal, Triple Five will receive a tax-increased loan so that “taxes can be reinvested in development rather than paid to the state, but the facility will have state and local authorities such as the police.” Municipal services continue to be needed.”
Bloomberg News reported in May this year that American Dream, under the control of Triple Five, will lose $60 million in 2021 and earn $173 million on $232 million in expenses. I was. According to Bloomberg, the distressed project generated $305 million in sales.
In addition to the outside construction loans, American Dream said that “$290 million in sales taxes will support municipal bonds, and we will have $800 million in municipal bonds backed by payments in lieu of property taxes.” Mohr reported total debt of $2.6 billion and about $500 million in equity.”
And what happened to former swashbuckler Tom Barack? It was easy to miss the criminal case in Brooklyn where a judge dismissed Barack’s motion to remove the bracelet. Held next month.
Barack was an adviser to Trump’s 2016 campaign, led the scandal-plagued inaugural committee, and acted as an outside advisor with high-level access to the Trump administration, including Middle East issues. introduced Trump to his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, facilitating conversations that strengthened ties between Trump and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and helped realign the Middle East,” Forbes said in 2018. reported.
But last July, Barack, along with two other men, were charged with involvement in a “conspiracy to illegally advance and further UAE interests in this country,” according to prosecutors. rice field.
“These arrests act 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, so that they can 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 Barack’s $250 million bond was one of the largest ever and enough to warrant his appearance in court, according to the Daily News. . The judge didn’t buy it.
Judge Brian Cogan said, “Even with current financial and travel restrictions, Barack is a well-resourced person with extensive contacts around the world.” It is not surprising that Barrack, despite his extensive family ties and longtime residency in his community, decided to take the chance and flee This risk only grows as the trial approaches.”
Will what happened to Tom Barack happen to his old friend, the former president? Either way, the problem is bigger than Trump. What we elevate is the archetype of the brave, unscrupulous mogul, which has saddened us repeatedly.
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