Friday, April 18, 2014

Infrastructure Plotters Meet Privately With Treasury Secretary Lew to Divvy Up Tax Dollars

On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew hosted, what the Treasury called "a roundtable with thought leaders and investors to discuss the state of the economy and infrastructure investment."

The meeting appears to have been really about plotting on how to divvy up taxpayer money on crony government infrastructure deals. has obtained the list of the 14 outside attendees.

Goldman Sachs had a representative at the meeting, as did BlackRock and Morgan Stanley.  McKinsey & Company had two representatives.  Most instructive as to the purpose of the meeting is that representatives of Global Infrastructure Partners, Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Partners and Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners were in attendance.

The Goldman Sachs representative was Ed Pallesen,  who is head of the Infrastructure Investment Group for the Americas at GS. McKinsey representative, Tyler Duvall  helped develop the Travel, Infrastructure and Logistics practice. McKinsey representative Robert Palter leads the global Infrastructure Practice.

Here is the entire list of attendees:

Dolly Mirchandani, Allen & Overy
D.J. Gribbin, Macquarie Group
Jim Perry, Morgan Stanley
 Ed Pallesen, Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Nicolas Rubio, Cintra
Robert Keough, Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Partners
Denis Hughes, Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners
Matt Fabian, Municipal Market Advisors
Erik Savi, BlackRock
Bruce MacLennan, Global Infrastructure Partners
Tyler Duvall, McKinsey & Company
Rob Palter, McKinsey & Company
Janet Kavinoky, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Kevin DeGood, Center for American Progress

This is why Kavinoky was invited to the meeting:

Of note, Walter Block, author of The Privatization of Roads and Highways: Human and Economic Factors, was not invited to the meeting.


  1. I'll admit I am ignorant in the area of "government infrastructure" but why in the hell do you need a room full of bankers to discuss construction projects? Knowing how corrupt the Obama administration is and the fact that they serve the banking elite and extremely wealthy, all I can assume is that they plan is to sell local level bonds (read tax exempt) probably backed by the Federal government to fund these projects rather than using fully taxable US Government bonds.

    1. Company On Major Highway Job Fires, Sues VP

      Centerplan's CEO, former Democratic state Rep. Robert Landino, said in an interview last week that he knew Papandrea through state politics, but hired him three years ago because Papandrea had held a responsible position with another construction company.

      Centerplan is a key construction management subcontractor on an ongoing, massive project to reconstruct all 23 service areas along I-95, the Merritt and Wilbur Cross parkways and I-395 in eastern Connecticut.

      The project dates back to the administration of former Gov. M. Jodi Rell in 2009. Its original estimated cost of $500 million is privately funded under an unusual 35-year concession agreement between the state and a prime contractor, Project Service LLC. Project Service's lead member is The Carlyle Group, an international investment giant. The state Department of Transportation, which is monitoring the project and performing inspections, declined comment.

      According to the lawsuit, Papandrea approved payment of contractor invoices to Centerplan for work that was "performed at [his] residence instead of Centerplan's client projects," thereby obtaining "free labor, materials and services for his residence in excess of $50,000."

      The company claims in the suit that Papandrea "knowingly assisted another [employee] in committing similar wrongful conduct." Centerplan is seeking unspecified money damages and "disgorgement of [Papandrea's] salary and benefits."

  2. I guess she never picked up on the irony of having the words "Free Enterprise" plastered in the background of her video.

  3. Invite Walter Block to explain what he meant when he said laws regulating abortion are a throwback to slavery.

    Seriously, what's to stop a corporation from buying a bunch of land and building a highway? Other than the fact that you can't make a profit doing it.

    1. Re: Jerry Wolfgang,

      -- Other than the fact that you can't make a profit [constructing and operating a highway].--

      Ha ha ha! That's funny,

      Oh, my God. You're being serious....

      HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!

    2. Jerry: go look the meaning of the word "turnpike" in the dictionary. Yep, our resident leftist clown, private highways were built and were profitable. That's why governments monopolized that market later.

  4. The destruction of language may one the most effective methods of fooling the public. Incorporating terms such as "Commerce" and "Free Enterprise" in the background of a propaganda piece in support of crony interventionism, apparently makes it impossible for most people to see when they are being robbed.

    The battle for a libertarian society hinges on the proper use of language.

  5. Ringo's Law.
    So goes the fruition of our tainted infrastructure.

  6. Privatization is a Ramp for Corruption and Insouciance is a Ramp for War by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

    Most privatizations, such as those that have occurred in France and UK during the neoliberal era, and in Greece today and Ukraine tomorrow, are lootings of public assets by politically-connected private interests.

    Another form of privatization is to turn traditional government functions, such as prison operation and many supply functions of the armed services, such as feeding the troops, over to private companies at a large increase in cost to the public. Essentially, the libertarian ideology is used to provide lucrative public contracts to a few favored persons who then reward the politicians. This is called “free enterprise.”

    The privatization of prisons in the US is an example of the extraordinary cost and injustice of privatization. Privatization of prisons requires ever higher rates of incarceration in order to build profitability. The US, supposedly “a land of liberty” has by far the highest incarceration rates of all countries. The “free” US has not only the highest percentage of its population in prison but also the highest absolute number.

    “Authoritarian” China with four times the US population has fewer citizens in prison.

    This article shows how well prison privatization works for well-connected private interests:

    It also shows the extraordinary shame, corruption, and discredit that prison privatization has brought to the US.

    A few years ago I wrote about the conviction of two judges who were paid by privatized juvenile detention facilities to sentence kids to their facilities.

    As Alain of Lille and later Karl Marx said, “Money is all.” In America money is all that is important to the political system and to the bulk of the population. Essentially, America has no other values.

    Another great libertarian fantasy is Wall Street.

  7. "Seriously, what's to stop a corporation from buying a bunch of land and building a highway? Other than the fact that you can't make a profit doing it. "

    2 words: eminent domain
    Or lack thereof

  8. Tyler Duvall was George W. Bush's Undersecretary of Transportation.