From Volume 7, Issue 40 of EIR Online, Published Sept. 30, 2008

U.S. Economic/Financial News

Felix 'the Fascist' Rohatyn Touts 'Infrastructure Bank'

Sept. 23 (EIRNS)—Felix "the Fascist" Rohatyn can't tell the difference between the public and his privates, and is still attempting to loot the public works of the United States and put all infrastructure into the hands of financier speculators.

Felix, the creator of the notorious Chilean fascist regime of the late Agosto Pinochet, emerged from several weeks of apparent seclusion during the demise of Lehman Brothers (his last resting place on Wall Street) to tout his "National Infrastructure Bank," in a torturously verbose article in the Oct. 9 New York Review of Books.

In short, it is nothing but the Mussolini plan. He said that "what used to be known as public works," that is, "the roads, mass transit, bridges, ports and airports, flood control systems, and much else," can only survive if they are privatized. The model is California, where his fellow fascist Gov. Arnie Schwarzenegger got tired of waiting for Federal government aid, and sold $20 billion in bonds to repair his roads, etc. (But, Felix doesn't mention that California is virtually bankrupt.) He praised the Rockefeller Foundation fiasco for Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs) that was founded by Arnie and New York Mayor "Benito" Bloomberg to go national with the privatization of infrastructure.

Felix's argument is clinically insane. During the very week that the White House is trying to bail out Wall Street with the $700 billion fascist scheme, Rohatyn called for passage of his National Infrastructure Bank—a swindle that claims to finance infrastructure with bonds bought by the private sector—specifically mentioning Goldman Sachs, and the Australia-based Maquarie company.

This evil scheme was launched for one reason: to block Lyndon LaRouche's revival of FDR economic policies like LaRouche's Economic Recovery Act, and the Homeowners and Bank Protection Act.

Ike Shows That FEMA Problems Didn't End with Brownie's Dismissal

HOUSTON, Sept. 24 (EIRNS)—Twelve days after Hurricane Ike passed through the Texas Gulf Coast, with a direct hit on Houston, the nation's fourth-largest city, nearly 600,000 Houstonians still lacked electricity, and 250,000 people were still without running water. The City of Galveston has been declared unlivable, and its residents have been told they can visit, to see if their homes survived the storm, but they cannot stay, as there is no water or power, and there is a significant danger of disease.

In the days immediately after the storm passed, Mayor Bill White of Houston issued several statements, chastising FEMA for its incompetent response. Despite ample warning, and full cooperation from city and state officials, FEMA botched the delivery of emergency shipments of food, water, and ice. At several designated locations where people gathered to receive supplies, and where city and state emergency crews had gathered to help with distribution, hundreds were turned away when FEMA supply trucks did not arrive. After some sharp retorts from Mayor White, FEMA's delivery improved, but not before additional hardships were suffered.

The power and water problems, however, demonstrate that the real problem for the U.S., when it comes to emergency preparedness, is not just the incompetence of the Department of Homeland Security, but the long-term effects of the collapse of infrastructure in the U.S. In the few areas of Houston where power lines are underground, power stayed on, or, if lost, was restored immediately. Officials from the power companies said that the city as a whole was not rewired because it was not "cost effective," leaving it vulnerable to strong storms.

Further, they argue that, under deregulation, the cost for upgrading the power transmission system would immediately be passed on to consumers, which they believed would be highly unpopular. Instead, given the failure to upgrade, those same consumers will be hit with ballooning electricity costs, to pay for the repairs being done now, to restore electric power. Plans for upgrading power and water management that had been discussed after the disaster of Hurricane Rita three years ago, had been shelved, for lack of money.

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