Monday, January 11, 2010

Los Angeles Hires 'Economy Chief'

Facing a widening budget deficit and regional unemployment stuck above 12%, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has decided to place a vast swath of city government under a former private-sector executive charged with making Los Angeles more business friendly, reports WSJ.

The only problem with this is that instead of hiring an economist that understands how markets work, and who might provide valuable advice, Villaraigosa has hired a member of the crony elite.
Villaraigosa is expected to name Austin Beutner, a former partner at private-equity giant Blackstone Group and co-founder of the boutique investment-banking firm Evercore Partners, as the city's first economy chief.

Reports WSJ:
The 49-year-old Mr. Beutner will have broad powers. About half of city government departments -- from the Port of Los Angeles to the city's sprawling Department of Water and Power utility -- will report to him. Mr. Beutner will report directly to Mr. Villaraigosa....Mr. Beutner, whose title is first deputy mayor and chief executive for economic and business policy, starts Monday. His annual salary is $1.
Villaraigosa has always been clueless about economics, now he has turned the city over to the ruling elite. They'll have Villaraigosa dancing in so many directions that he might as well become a contestant on Dancing with the Stars.

1 comment:

  1. The private equity-government mash up is mature if cities are getting in bed with the PEU boys.

    GM's board is chock full of private equity underwriters. Nearly every PEU has an infrastructure fund.

    LA wants some of that $400 billion in dry powder.