Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Report Wall Street Doesn't Want You to Read

Nice Headline? I stole it. From a Bloomberg writer. You know Bloomberg News? Their the people that write about money and business and how its never smart to invest in a proven loser of an investment. This guy is pretty adamant about the importance of this report. Look at this quote:

"If you are a city official, editorial writer, or taxpayer, you should read this report."

Well I'm not a city official, some people would certainly say I'm not a writer, but damn if I don't pay taxes. What is this magical report?

``Space Available: The Realities of Convention Centers as Economic Development Strategy.''

That is the actual name of the Brookings Institute report on convention centers that is being dismissed by Mayors across the country. So why would Wall Street care if Albany builds a convention center or not?

"Wall Street makes millions of dollars underwriting bonds for convention centers and convention center hotels, and doesn't want states and localities to stop betting on the future success of the convention business."

Oh, that makes more sense now. The proposal for the Albany Convention Center has over a $100 million in bonds as financing. Good news for Wall Street! Did you know the combined bonuses for Wall Street employees this year was $15.9 Billion (not a misprint, that says Billion) ? So back to the report and his opinion of it:

``Space Available'' is a damning piece of work, full of facts and figures you should keep at hand next time someone suggests that your municipality should build or expand a convention center."

But my Mayor dismisses this report? I know you think you are some big shot Wall Street money guy genius and that is all cool but my mayor claims to be an "optimist" and really doesn't think this report is worth the paper it is printed on ....are you sure about this?

``Space Available'' should be required reading in every municipality that wants to bond its way to economic development. "

OK, smart money guy, but if I read this report and still think investing in this convention center is a good idea, you'll be hearing from me.

I've read the report. This article should also be required reading.

I wonder what my fellow taxpayers would think if they knew about this?