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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 18, 2008 5:20 AM. The previous post in this blog was Catching on. The next post in this blog is Troubleshooting. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

East Portland pool: $1 million plus just for architects

The City of Portland has become an absolute Architect Welfare agency. This week the City Council will vote to throw another $75,600 at SERA Architects "for design and construction administration services for an aquatics facility addition to the East Portland Community Center." This will bring the total tab for said services to $1,054,734. Geez, people, that seems like way too much for that. No wonder we need to sell out and sell off the old parks to pay for the new ones. But it's going to be green! Sustainable! Platinum LEED! So I guess it must be o.k.

Comments (16)

You shoudl know by now how this city "works" - Kiss enough a$$ and you get what you want.

If that means a tax break for developers, job working for Randy, streetcar to help your project, contracts for the same people/consultants over and over - No problem.

This city is a pop stand.

Architects like builders, lenders, and brokers gleefully and greedily participated in the largest financial ponzi scheme in history. IMO, most are yuppy parasites who thrive off government largesse and corporate malfeasance while producing little of lasting worth. Design over content. Image over substance.

As real estate continues to implode it gives me real pleasure that many if not most architects will have to get *real jobs*.

Real estate implode? Only for those poor suckers who over-extended in the Pearl. The gift that keeps on giving, the PDC hacks and lackeys, are getting ready for that 'much needed hotel' and the cute little billion dollar trolley on the east side.
Watch your wallets folks! and see the moola disappear before your very eyes.
It's magic!

No wonder folks in Portland proper are so supportive of Obama's big government proposals. The local economy seems to depend on state and federal government handouts as well as ever expanding municipal debt loads. If these funding sources ever become limited, I should think Portland would go into a sharp downturn relative to other locations as the current local economy depends heavily on public financing/subsidization of never ending large construction projects.

"I should think Portland would go into a sharp downturn relative to other locations"

Ya think?

Maybe the plan is to pipe that super clean treated Big Pipe water to the East Portland Community Center Aquatic Facility.

The problem with agricultural price supports is that the constituency is too small. Too small to be sustainable. Price supports for homes is as close to universal as one can get, for folks that have already hopped on the asset inflation train.

If the federal government is willing, after the fact, to guarantee the private debt/guarantee-obligations of the private Fannie Mae then surely they could choose to do the very same thing, after the fact, for all municipal debt -- particularly debt who's inspiration has been characterized as economic development.

Let's not forget that Henry Paulson recently noted (Sunday talk show a week ago) that 1.5 trillion of the private GSE's 5 trillion in guarantees are to foreign entities.

Think about it for a moment. It is more important to give a new gift to foreigners that they could not obtain from Fannie Mae in any bankruptcy court than it is to cover the municipal debt for all manner of economic development (well at least economic stimulus spending from borrowed money with reckless abandon).

If the federal government would ultimately, after the fact, step in to cover the municipal debt (via some "implicit" guarantee) shouldn't we actually boost the price paid on nearly every project so as to maximize our local take from the guarantee? One could morally demand no more than parity with the 1.5 Trillion of guarantees given to foreigners via the mislabeled "housing" bailout bill. Oregon's cut of such a municipal debt guarantee (to bondholders) on a per capita basis would be about 15 Billion dollars, with the vast majority going to the Portland metro area.

If you controlled the money printing machine just where would you distribute the output? To foreigners . . . or to gleeful local professionals? (Since we are going to print it in any event, the relative distribution choice here is valid and timely.)

If you can't beat em, join em.

"It is more important to give a new gift to foreigners that they could not obtain from Fannie Mae in any bankruptcy court..."

Smacks forehead with hand -- hard.

Trillion dollar loans from foreign nations are not meant to be "gifts". I got one word:

ZIMBABWE.


"Oregon's cut of such a municipal debt guarantee (to bondholders) on a per capita basis would be about 15 Billion dollars, with the vast majority going to the Portland metro area."

Awesome!!!! We can burn them to keep warm at night.

Fannie Mae is a private company, not a government entity.

NYSE symbol FNM.

If their private guarantees were/are worthless, then, as any capitalist knows, the holder of such guarantees have no one to blame but themselves.

Suppose you go form a corporation, do you know why you would do so? In simplest terms, I could simply desire to limit my personal exposer to loss to the amount which I deliver to the new entity. All parties that transact business with such corporation know they are limited to making claims on the assets of such corporation. Likewise, a buyer of stock (except for some bank owners) puts at risk only the amount of their purchase price. It is elementary.

I want a pool too. Don't you? The design should be as reusable/portable as possible.

"Fannie Mae is a private company, not a government entity."

Actually they *are* GSEs (look it up) and their MBS securities were always under implicit US treasury guarantee. They are now under explicit US government guarantee. Your tax dollars at work!

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aAELTC1YJg.A&refer=home

Heh now come on , there are ambulance-chasin lawyers... , it doesn't make all attorneys bad.
Many archy-tecs remodel your kitchen, help add a room for your new kid, draw up your beach home.
We do want to make the world
[or at least portland] a better place !

Let the architects get their big bucks, so long as it is straight from the federal government.

squeezed ,

The 5 trillion dollars in guarantees *were* not part of a government contract that would be subject to government liability under U.S. v. Winstar, 518 US 839 (1996). The key thing here is the after-the-fact gift where no obligation to cover previously existed. I am highlighting the gift to the foreign funds, the foreign sovereign funds, as contrasted with real stuff, real public investment, like pools that we peons can use.

And *private* US bankers (and "sophisticated" hedge fund investors) that hold worthless pieces of paper from a bankrupt Fannie Mae are entitled to nothing more than an opportunity to live with the consequences of their own private folly. It is like the notion that everyone is entitled to an equal opportunity to obtain an education, but not that they will become as accomplished as Einstein.

Any debt incurred by local government to pay for play things, funded in part by foreign sovereign funds, can expect that our federal government will similarly give them (the locals) the shaft big time, at the behest of these foreign money lenders. This is in stark contrast to federal deficit spending as a means of simulating wages so as to stimulate consumption . . . even if this type of blunt instrument (as opposed to other blunt instruments) results in a partial halt in deflation. A little wage inflation would help nudge the wage-to-home-price ratio back toward a natural equilibrium.

"archy-tecs remodel your kitchen, help add a room for your new kid, draw up your beach home"

yeah that beach home makes for a better world. and kitchen islands, pergo, granite and steel are a real benefit to society.

squeezed,

Just be sure to use caution in your haste to identify what or who is responsible for your frustration. You have at least made a wise choice to come here, versus other venues, to engage in discovery of the answer; or to vet some conclusions as being wrong. Learning itself can be frustrating, until you embrace it as your friend.

nag, when you come up with zingers like these:

"A little wage inflation would help nudge the wage-to-home-price ratio back toward a natural equilibrium."

its hard to take you even a tiny bit seriously.

"You have at least made a wise choice to come here, versus other venues, to engage in discovery of the answer"

Ummmm...riiiiiiight.


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