Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Memories of the Majestic Star

A short, but insightful, look at the parking bid from a magazine called AI5000?  With Large Bid for Parking Authority, Pittsburgh Pension May Live Another Day.  The title is the story in itself don't you think?  But it also has this quote:
Surprisingly, no bids came from other pension funds or asset owners, which as of late have been very active in the infrastructure space. According to Morgan Stanley’s J. Perry Offutt, who was tapped by the Parking Authority to oversee the deal, pension funds have yet to get into the parking market. “If you came back in a year, you’d likely see the large pension funds bidding on something like this,” he said after the press conference.
So somehow they got a hold of the Morgan Stanley dude pulling the strings.  I don't see anyone else who has gotten an interview?  Someone is getting a big bonus.

There is this immense irony in that.  Some know that one of the big investors via lending and now equity in the Pittsburgh casino is the Detroit municipal pension system. So they thought the casino was a good idea, but didn't even come to play when it came to parking garages.  Interesting.  and no, I don't doubt that if they had the opportunity to redo that decision, they would not have put their money into the casino in the first place.  I think the fact that they had to restructure their debt is the main reason the ratings agencies are now rating the casino's debt as being in a selective default. 

On a side note it does make me ponder a bit....  if Don Barden, who brought the Detroit pension folks into the mix I presume, could have borrowed at today's rates and not been in the middle of the financial markets collapse, he would probably still own the casino today.   Well, maybe not.  From news today up in Gary, IN... Don is not doing so well these days.

and I had never heard of the AI5000 publication before, but it does have this story of note: Scandal in the Marriage of Politics and Investment.


Anonymous BrianTH said...

Just an idle thought, but I wonder if there may be a risk story that explains the relatively lack of pension interest in these assets.

I also wonder if this will give any comfort to those wondering if it is a good idea to swap these assets for cash in the pension (basically, the rest of the pension universe is essentially favoring the same side of the deal the City would be on).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 12:31:00 PM  

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