Friday, July 13, 2012

Who owns what? What owns whom?

So just a short note.  The travails in Scranton have reached a certain level of national noteriety at this point with Mayor Dougherty cutting everyones pay to minimum wage.  Or trying to at least.

So as a result Scranton was going to try and 'sell' their sewer authority as a means to raise cash.  A little trick they may have learned from us actually.  Turns out they can't sell their sewer authority, because they don't really own it in the first place

That is just the beginning of how convoluted their financial situation is...  it all makes our notional parking asset look as solid as a contract on soybean futures at least.

A sad note in municipal finance minutia that does not impact us?  There were some real questions over the absolute and final ownership of some of the city's parking assets back when the city was trying to liquidize their value.  It also comes up when talk of 'privatizing' the sewer authority comes up.  You really have to wonder about all the overlapping liability of debt and ownership that underlie all the special districts and authorities in the region.  It all because very metaphysical very fast when you think about it too much.  You could never draw all the lines (dotted or not) if you wanted to. 


Blogger Vannevar said...

When I saw the headline I pre-supposed this was about Mitt Romney, who owned what when, and who owns whom now. Rorschach FAIL. Cheers, V.

Saturday, July 14, 2012 7:57:00 AM  
Anonymous The Wiz said...

Yeah, all these various agencies, authorities, departments all work together to hide the true cost and debt of government. It a big reason why a protracted downturn in the economy always exposes such shenanigans. Low economic activity and revenues show just how badly managed government spending really is.
Perhaps downturns and recessions are the best part of the economic cycle for without them government largess would go undetected and unchecked. As Chauncey Gardner need to prune the trees in the fall to set good fruit in the spring....

Saturday, July 14, 2012 11:30:00 AM  

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