Sunday, July 5, 2015

CPS Debt: Cha-ching!

Floated quietly on July 4th, the Sun-Times outlines the minefield that is CPS borrowing and its associated fees. In the Spring, CPS sold $478,000,000 in bonds, and the $4,400,000 fee for such borrowing has been spread around to those with ties to mayors past and present.

Chris Fusco has connected all the dots for anyone who cares to see how the connected continue to make money while CPS and the city go broke:
  • Law firm Katten Muchin & Rosenman's profit: $300,000. The connected: former Mayor Daley who made pension holidays de rigueur is Of Counsel at the firm, and the firm's attorneys have contributed $61,000 to Emanuel's campaigns since 2010. 
  • Law firm Thompson Coburn's profit: $350,000. The connected:  John Cullerton, Mayor Emanuel's bro in the Illinois General Assembly.
  • Finance firm Loop Capital Markets profit: $180,000 in underwriting fees. The connected: James Reynolds, Jr., firm founder who's also an Emanuel appointee to World Business Chicago and the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority. World Business Chicago has a sleek website but WCT is unsure of what they do to benefit citizens. IFSA is an ineffectual organization who does things like pay the debt on U.S. Cellular while not collecting the rent.
Going broke has never paid so well, at least for some. WCT thought Mayor Daley's continued profiteering from the mess he created was the big middle finger to the taxpayers, but it turns out the giant middle finger is:
  • Finance firm Cabrera Capital Markets: A portion of the $2,300,000 in fees for this year's bond deal, plus half of the $18.1M in fees since 2011.  If the name Cabrera rings a bell it should: Martin Cabrera, Jr. was UNO Charter Schools chairman after the SEC probe of UNO's awarding of construction contracts based on best price nepotism. Cabrera Capital, not coincidentally, was one of the underwriters of the $37.5M in loans UNO received in 2011.
The list of the connected goes on and on. Don't be a-feared, citizens, Emanuel spokesperson Adam Collins reassures readers, "...there is no connection between the awarding of CPS bond work and contributions to the mayor's political fund." Thanks for clearing that up. If City Hall says it, it must be true.

Our political ruling class engages in financial malfeasance as its sole practice, and the constellation of cronies assembled in Chicago is continually enriched thanks to such deals. Meanwhile, Chicagoans are bracing for a slew of taxes ranging from increased property taxes to a tax on the cloud so our ruling elite can remain so.

No comments:

Post a Comment