Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wall Street vs. Main Street (communities) literally: conspiracy to manipulate bond pricing

EE calls our attention to this Rolling Stone article, "The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia: How America's biggest banks took part in a nationwide bid-rigging conspiracy - until they were caught on tape," by Matt Taibbi.

It's about bid rigging, which lowered the return to municipalities and other local government entities from the sales of municipal bonds.

Of course, local governments have been getting nailed by similar kinds of financial shenanigans by Wall Street financiers for a long time, from San Diego's bankruptcy because of pension fund investment problems, to the bankruptcies of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Jefferson County, Alabama, because of funding fraud abetted by either contract fraud (Jefferson County) or product failure (Harrisburg) which triggered increasing costs and not enough money to rectify the problems.

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