Thursday, October 28, 2010

Don't Dwell On Despair; Seek Silver Linings

Rather than dwell upon the sad points of current events -- disappointment among Pittsburgh's parking privateers, apprehension among Democrats throughout the nation, dread of prison among those who imprison innocent children for profit -- why not consider silver linings?
  • The Not-So-Great InsolvenCity Parking Garage Sale seems lifeless; the parking privateers have largely abandoned attempts to persuade decision-makers to accept the mayor's plan, focusing instead on increasingly bitter recriminations among themselves. The out-of-town privateers are describing Mayor Ravenstahl, Yarone Zober, and their local greasers as lying incompetents to anyone who will listen -- a group that apparently does not include Ravenstahl, who reportedly refuses to take his former privateering partners' calls. The loss of huge paydays from a mispriced deal obviously smarts. But while attempting to establish direct relationships with council members (privateers) or fruitlessly trying to identify something worthwhile to do next (Ravenstahl, Zober, Kunka), the disappointed privateers could embrace a silver lining -- the capsizing of the transaction substantially reduces the likelihood of indictments, convictions and terms of imprisonment.

  • Democrats are dispirited, and consequently bracing for an improbably rapid comeback by the discredited ideologues who broke our country Republicans poised to take advantage of expected low turnout among Americans who hold sensible and majority views. But instead of dreading a revival of gay-bashing, abortion-banning, immigrant-hating, science-disdaining public policy (which is not going to occur so long as Barack Obama is president), Democrats should take heart from the silver lining of the Republicans' undeserved resurgence -- it likely guarantees a second Obama presidential term.

  • The predictable news that former Luzerne County judge Michael Conahan is a likely beneficiary of lessened punishment for his sentencing of innocent children to incarceration in exchange for kickbacks could generate outrage among decent people. But that view would overlook the underlying point that former judge Conahan has begun to cooperate with law enforcement personnel, providing an insider's account of the corrupt scheme and agreeing to testify against co-conspirators. The silver lining -- more of those who paid bribes and profited from infliction of misery on innocent children seem likely to be identified, prosecuted and punished -- could be large enough to stretch across the Commonwealth, from its northeastern corner to the southwestern.

Infinonymous is pleased to perform a public service by directing attention to the bright side of current events.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good post

Bram Reichbaum said...

"The loss of huge paydays from a mispriced deal obviously smarts."

Mispriced?

Anonymous said...

Given that the privateers were scrambling around the City-County Building with offers that lowerred meter rates while keeping the take the same, yeah I'd say "Mispriced"

Bram Reichbaum said...

When a caterer offers extras like free app trays and a few bottles of wine in order to close a deal, does that mean he/she must be cheating you on the essential bottom line?

Your own quarter million dollar study said it was a fair deal. This baseless insistence upon foul play and this grasping at whispered straws reveals powerful, unreasoning and political prejudices that have been at work since day one. Pittsburgh is now in more desperate straits because of it.

MH said...

Your own quarter million dollar study said it was a fair deal.

That's got me worried lately. I’m hoping JP Morgan managed to find value that was hidden from the city council’s people or is cheating the LAZ people to get fees. If not, they were knowingly offering the full present value. Which means that JP Morgan’s views on the economy are nearly to the point where they start buying ammo and canned food.

Anonymous said...

Bram, You need to stop drinking the Burgess Kool Aid. What the study concluded was that the present value of the future revenue was in the range of what was offerred. That is a far cry from confirming it as a good deal.

Rex said...

Anon 2:32 -

You keep clinging to this $2.4 billion net revenues over 50 years thing. Here's the thing - that would require the Mayor's original lease plan to go through with the original rate structure.

But setting that aside for the moment, $2.4Billion over 50 years is a little over $40 million/yr.

If we get hit with a takeover, and our MMO skyrockets by $70/million, annually, over 30 years, that's $2.1Billion.

Seems we've already lost the revenue, it's just now a matter of how. One thing's for damn dure, we can't squeeze $70Million out of the City's parking assets with an orange juicer regardless of the rate structure.

MH said...

It was at the high end of the range. I don't see the price as the problem with the lease.

Bram Reichbaum said...

The assertion was that it was "mispriced". The bid came in the very, VERY high end of the valuation range, by the way; read page 19 of the study.

There are some ideological justifications for opposition to leases or P3's as well, but that's a matter of personal opinion and style.

MH said...

dread of prison among those who imprison innocent children for profit

Why does no one ever consider the possibility that they enjoy causing children to suffer and any profit was purely incidental?

Infy Fan said...

Anyone else notice how often Infy's "predictions" turn out to be right on?

Rex said...

Infy Fan:

With respect to Infinonymous'"predictions" always seeming to be right on, I'd bet Infy would prefer to be wrong far more often.

Anonymous said...

I don't think we're talking about predicitons here, folks, more like facts that ain't in public yet.
Dude knows what he's talking about.

MH said...

The dude who said not to despair knows what he is talking about?

Infinonymous said...

Why "dude?" -- have "dudes" cornered the market on facts?

Rex said...

Infy-

I have to agree with MH, we are headed into a period of despair.

Infinonymous said...

An immoral invasion of Iraq, torturing and imprisoning innocents, pointless and counterproductive drift in Afghanistan, substituting superstition for science in government, fueling deficits with mindless tax policy, ignoring the unsustainable trajectory of health care -- that was the period of despair.

This is the period of repair.