Sunday, November 4, 2018

Inside a Rockefeller Crony Capitalist Deal

Nelson Rockefeller (1908-1979)
From Paul Volcker's new book, Keeping At It: The Quest for Sound Money and Good Government,

This is Volcker about his period when he was the personal assistant to Treasury Secretary Douglas Dillon:
 One particular incident grates to this day as too typical of government. New York governor Nelson Rockefeller, Dillon told me, was planning to build the World Trade Center in downtown New York. He needed help from the Treasury to make it economically viable. US Customs, a large Treasury agency, needed a lot of space in New York. Could it commit to taking thousands of square feet in the planned buildings? More importantly, the Trade Center would be funded and owned by the New York-New Jersey Port Authority, the bistate agency that Rockefeller pretty much controlled. The Port Authority needed to know that the bonds it offered would be tax exempt, assuring lower interest rates and viable financing.
A couple of days later I delivered a short memo to the the secretary:
1. Customs indeed needed new space. Lease negotiations for Canal Street space a few blocks north of the proposed World Trade Center were well advanced and promised a much lower rent.
2. There was clearly a considerable excess of downtown office space. Tax exemption for what would essentially be private commercial offices couldn't be justified under established Treasury guidelines.
The secretary quickly read through the memo, looked up, and
"That's all fine, Paul. But what Nelson wants, Nelson will get."


  1. what do you know - the WTC;
    built by republicans.
    demolished by republicans.

  2. More accurately, built by our East-Coast/European Mafia, demolished by our Texas/South American Mafia.

    1. sure. except if it had been democrats you probably wouldn't hesitate to name them as such.