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September 23, 2010

Forest City Ratner's green-cards-for-investments scheme is part of a pattern (MTA, Beekman), but job-saving claims demand scrutiny

Atlantic Yards Report

Forest City Ratner's green-cards-for-investments scheme is still pretty baffling. How exactly can they claim that using Chinese millionaires' money to pay off their land loan counts as creating or preserving jobs?

Sure, there has to be a document that makes that claim--and Forest City Ratner and partner the New York City Regional Center should make it public.

I suspect it essentially will say that by allowing the project to go forward it preserves jobs.

But that suggests that only this infusion of capital keeps the developer from moving ahead.

That can't be true. It's a business decision.

Parent Forest City Enterprises has more than $467 million in cash and credit capacity, according to its 9/8/10 earnings release. If it had to spend the money, it would.

It would rather not. That's understandable. Corporations are supposed to maximize value to their shareholders.

But the goal of the EB-5 program is economic development, not developer bailouts. So the press and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) should take a close look.

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Posted by eric at September 23, 2010 10:59 AM