Monday, February 24, 2014

Bad boys, bad boys

There is this news item of some properties being sold by the URA in Beechview. Might not be newsworthy at all except for the fact that the properties were once owned by former real estate micro-magnate Bernardo Katz.  What is the good Mr. Katz up to? Who knows since he fled for Brazil where an Interpol warrant is insufficient for begin any extradition process. He had a semi-active concert schedule up until recently, but the Intertubes do not divulge much beyond that.

The story of Mr. Katz is not really about some rogue real estate player.  Many an amateur real estate developer has gone bust. That is not why he is on the lam. The essence of capitalism is that failure in a business enterprise is not criminal. He is charged with wire fraud to begin with. But even being a fugitive to the American justice system is also not really the rub of it for me. Plenty of alleged criminals  out there, few ever mentioned here. What gets me is that folks forget that much of Mr. Katz's expanding portfolio was actively supported by a wide cast of characters in town and nontrivial public incentives. He acquired much of it with an aggressive legal strategy that was not inhibited by any public entity, in fact quite the opposite. Such was the state of reactionary planning that anyone appearing to be willing to invest was supported with less of a qualification check than we require of many a worker for the lowliest of public sector jobs. Would it be libelous to suggest some of that support came as a result of sizable donations made to selected pols?

Look up the definition of enabling.

Still, the recent news is progress, but consider how long it has taken. Katz has been in Brazil for how many years?  And the real estate he once owned is still tied up in legal pain.That gets to the enduring story still impacting communities across the board.


Blogger Uncle Darren said...

how many years has Katz been in Brazil. I don't know.

Saturday, March 01, 2014 9:38:00 AM  

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