From Volume 7, Issue Number 21 of EIR Online, Published May 20, 2008

U.S. Economic/Financial News

Rohatyn's PPP May Become Roadkill on Pa. Turnpike

May 16 (EIRNS)—The Mussolini-style corporatist strategy for privatization of U.S. economic infrastructure ("public private partnerships," PPPs), wielded against the Democratic Party by fascist banker Felix Rohatyn through House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is threatened with political collapse. The attempt to sell off Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls for the next 50 years to private investment banks, may be about to fail and bring Rohatyn down, by showing that with their financial system blown out, private financiers can't even pay virtual stealing prices to grab public infrastructure cash flows.

Reports point to the potential failure of Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell's Turnpike "PPP" bidding process, which was to end May 19. The Mussolini fascism "soul brothers," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, pulled Rendell into their national road show, the "Rebuild America Coalition," in which they call for selling off public infrastructure cheap. The PPP strategy has been a roadblock in the Democratic leadership, against Franklin Roosevelt-style infrastructure and economic recovery policies put forward by Lyndon LaRouche.

It appears that the Pennsylvania Turnpike privatization bids 1) are 15-20% too low for Rendell to have a shot at legislative approval; and 2) don't include the British-Australian Macquarie Bank Group, which all analysts expected to take over the turnpike tolls and operation. Macquarie was exposed as a virtual Ponzi scheme in EIR and the New Citizen, the newspaper of LaRouche's Australian movement. The two bids are reportedly for only about $15 billion, instead of the $18 billion Rendell had expected, which was already opposed in the legislature as a giveaway of half the toll revenues over the next 50 years.

Rendell admitted on May 13, that the current financial crisis "is not a good time to be doing this," adding that if he were a Pennsylvania legislator, he might not approve it! If the privatization fails outright, it's a stomach punch for Rohatyn's PPP strategy.

Schwarzenegger, meanwhile, is proposing the crazier scheme of "securitizing" California's lottery revenues for years, to get a $15 billion Wall Street loan for the state's ballooning budget deficit. That is likely to fail, too.

Is the Food Crisis Shocking Congress Awake?

May 15 (EIRNS)—Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) made a notable statement to the hearing on the global food crisis of the Financial Services Committee on May 14. Carson, about to leave for Haiti with a delegation trying to get increased emergency food aid and debt forgiveness for that nation, said, "We must ensure that the IMF and the World Bank do not impose conditionalities that prevent countries from strengthening their local food production and economies." "We must ensure that countries are able to stockpile grain, create domestic support systems for small farmers, and invest in research and technology to increase agricultural productivity," Carson continued, implicitly attacking the policies of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Helga Zepp-LaRouche's call for doubling world food production, which had been circulated to Carson and all the committee members, demands that the WTO be abolished outright.

Carson also suggested a moratorium on ethanol production. Indiana produces 7.5% of the U.S. corn crop, and 19% of Indiana corn is now going to ethanol.

The Carson statement was echoed in many Congressional statements during the day, elsewhere in Washington and, for example, in Houston, where the LaRouche Youth Movement organized for Zepp-LaRouche's call for action, at an emergency town meeting of Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.). The Bipartisan Congressional Hunger Caucus, exhorted in Carson's statement, has been moribund for several years, but is now springing back into action.

After two years of MsLeadership by Nancy Pelosi, and the failure to act, from the Iraq War to the banking/foreclosure crisis, Congress is being shocked by the global food crisis, and the LaRouche movement's mobilization.

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