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Monday, January 4, 2010

Is Paulson going to put up a bond?

The City of Portland is about to allow Little Lord Paulson to start renovating the city's PGE Park for his soccer empire without a definitive development agreement, which is more (maybe much more) than a month away. If the deal falls through, we're told, some Paulson entity will be required to restore the stadium to where it was before the renovation activities started.

Is Paulson going to guarantee that personally?

Because if he isn't, the city has no security for the promise to restore. City officials have said that they have never seen financial statements from the Paulson entities, and if that's true, they really don't know what's in those entities -- assets or liabilities.

The Portland assets that rest in the Paulson family somewhere don't look too hot at the moment. There's the existing Timbers franchise, whose league is in some serious turmoil at the moment. And there's the Beavers baseball team, which at the moment has no place to play. That's not much security at all, even without knowing what other liabilties Paulson's companies owe.

Whatever interim agreement the city may enter into with Paulson, the Paulson side of the deal ought to be backed by either a serious performance bond, or the personal guarantee of the royal Paulson himself.

Comments (13)

In reading the WW blog posting about Sam-the-Tram's proposed resolution, I note that the Paulsons' business entity is called Peregrine LLC.

Maybe it's just a coincidence, but Saint Peregrine (1260-1345) is the patron saint of cancer patients.

One has to wonder if divine intervention is also applicable to blights of urban-cancer?!?!?

___ora et labora___


Oregbear, the peregrine allusion is not nearly that abstruse. Peregrine falcons swoop swiftly, silently and snatch plump city pigeons.

It's the Paulson family style. HMP III's Bushleague poppa did the same to WaMu, the nation's erstwhile largest thrift, in a coordinated theft of great regional wealth for the insatiable maw of Wall St Nation. Begin here and link to the two previous contributions in Kirsten Grind's investigative endeavor:

Of course, the Paulson clan would have us believe they're just conservation-minded birdwatchers.

As if a personal guarantee from Paulson would be worth the toilet paper it was smeared on. My father-in-law is very fond of noting that on the subject of gentlemen's agreements, "the only difference between gentlemen and horsethieves is that the gentlemen wear gloves."

Let's say the city gets his guarantee and he decides to wander off as soon as he's bored. What is Portland going to do: sue him? Publicly whine about how he pulled out? Go to his house and kneecap him? The problem here is getting an agreement where he actually stands to lose something if he decides to throw a tantrum and take his toys home, and his type usually only responds when someone richer and more powerful threaten to take their faces off with potato peelers. Better to get the money up front.

What is Portland going to do: sue him?

That's what contracts are all about.

When has a development agreement ever been enforced by the COP? Whenever a developer breaches such an agreement, they amend it! What's the point of putting anything in writing?

January 6 is the Festival of the Epiphany.

So, perhaps when the city council meets on January 6, to vote on this resolution, they'll finally have an epiphany.

By the way, on various city documents there are three different corporate names attached to this project that have the word "Peregrine" in their name.

There's "Peregrine Sports, LLC," "Peregrine, LLC," and "Peregrine Development, LLC."

On the Oregon Secretary of State's website, the first is listed as doing business at PGE Park's address. The second has no business address, but its agent for service is located in Roseburg, Oregon. And the third doesn't exist.

So, is this just a series of typos, or are there multiple corporate entities involved in this deal?

Quite a few shells moving around on that table. Not to mention Shortstop LLC.

I'm sure Steve Janik, Portland's attorney has the shell locations all figured out, and covering our taxpayer interests.

After making my comment about the city council possibly having an epiphany, I looked up the origins of the word, and it now occurs to me that the city council could end up voting that Paulson is the Second Coming.

In the meantime, what I'm betting on is that this resolution is part of a plan by the city council to get out of this mess by delaying the project to death.

In other words, once they pull up the turf and start digging, some engineer is going to "discover" some geological or environmental issue that will force a prolonged delay in the construction of the new grandstand section.

And if that doesn't work, maybe they'll throw some arrowheads in the hole while no one's looking.

When my former boss faced a situation like this, he'd say, "What do you want me to do? Pull a monkey out of my butt?"

Well, that's what the city council needs to do right about now.

If there was ever a moment for due diligence, this is it.

There is not even a slight chance this "deal" is or will be clean for the taxpayers or city.

Creepy and company do not have that in them. What they have are incompetence, no integrity and a self centered interest
overriding all things.

If there was ever a moment for due diligence, this is it.

That's been left in the green Ms. Ruiz's hands. That's "green" as in salad days green. Nothing personal there.

Obviously Ms. Ruiz is a smart, ambitious young woman, but she's clearly out of her element. The Paulsons are world-class sharks. We're getting hosed. It's utter madness that Ms. Ruiz and our spendthrift mayor are playing with billions of our real dollars, using idealism to cloak their business foolishness.

The city needs someone - anyone - with common sense at the helm, and a team of clever, experienced lawyers to counter Janik and his capable crew.

Fish? Fritz? Saltzman? Leonard? Has everyone checked out?

Don't get me wrong, Jack. You're absolutely right in that this is what contracts are all about. I've also had way too much experience with people like Paulson (in fact, a couple of people who are probably close friends of his) who think that contracts are for The Little People. Worse, even if the city sued him for breach of contract, you could bet good money that his current boosters would also start an active campaign demanding that the big bad city stop bullying Little Lord Paulson like that, and they just might succeed.

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