Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Small D.C. Scrub

Last night I had a dinner meeting at Charlie Palmer Steak which is just off Pennsylvania Ave at 101 Constitution Ave NW (Also home of Goldman Sachs' D.C. offices).

Since I am a walker, I took a leisurely stroll down Pennsylvania Ave, something seemed to be missing. Finally it hit me, there were no homeless on the streets. There are not many on this stretch, but there are a few. They were all gone. Then I noticed police cars blocking the streets. They normally don't do this heavy of a block off unless the president is coming through, but this appeared to be someone coming from the direction of the Capitol towards the White House. There's nothing really beyond the Capitol so it made little sense for it being the President. I asked one of the cops. It was Prime Minister Singh of India coming through.

Then it dawned on me, they scrubbed the streets for the Prime Minister. We'll show him what a country without homeless looks like!

All of which brings me to news late today out of the Treasury that Secretary Geithner and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced the establishment today of a new U.S.-India Economic and Financial Partnership to strengthen bilateral engagement and understanding on macroeconomic, financial sector, and infrastructure-related issues.

Secretary Geithner will visit India in early 2010 for the Partnership’s launch with Finance Minister Mukherjee.

The Partnership will focus on three broad areas for discussion – macroeconomic policy, the financial sector, and infrastructure development – and will meet at the Cabinet level once a year, alternately in the United States and India, led by Secretary Geithner and Minister Mukherjee. Working group and sub-cabinet level meetings will be held throughout the year to advance discussions on specific economic policy areas.

Got that? Infrastructure development is among the key areas. Building more roads, electricity and sewer systems, so that among other things there will be less homeless in India. Fewer living in squalor. This is a new focus area, of course, for the Carlyle Group.

I am really sorry I missed the actual clean out of the homeless. I wouldn't have been surprised if Carlyle Group co-Founder David Rubenstein, himself, was out there shooing them away. Afterall, he has infrastructure programs to sell.

1 comment:

  1. Wenzel,

    Those homeless are often mentally unstable and could've proved a risk to the security of the Indian PM!


    Um, this is what the commies do to visiting Americans in China. My parents were exposed to that kind of "scrubbed reality".

    On the other hand, this is how and why people like Geithner, as you mentioned in an earlier post, manage to be completely detached from reality and exist within their little bubble world. To the power elite, the homeless are a monster like Bigfoot... often spoken of, never seen.