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October 9, 2010

Why is the ESDC's Peter Davidson going to China? Could it be "agency capture"? Or maybe a hostage situation?

Atlantic Yards Report

I'm still trying to figure out why Empire State Development Corporation Executive Director Peter Davidson is going to China to flack for the Forest City Ratner/New York City Regional Center effort to raise $249 million from immigrant investors in exchange for green cards.

Davidson surely doesn't believe the effort would directly create nearly 7700 jobs.

And while there may be a document that asserts the investment would help create jobs indirectly or preserve them, we haven't seen the calculations.

It strains credulity to attach the railyard investment to the already-funded arena, or to claim that it ensures future jobs that would also depend on housing bonds.


Perhaps this is an example of the concept of "agency capture," which, as stated in the Encyclopedia of White-Collar and Corporate Crime, occurs when "regulatory agency officials with a pro-industry bias are appointed... and when various forms of inducement or influence, political or psychological, are evident."


Another way to look at it: Forest City Ratner has the state over a barrel--remember the Beekman Tower renegotiation with unions?--and the state will do what it takes to make sure the project moves forward and delivers some of the promised benefits.


NoLandGrab: Yet another way to look at it: A farmer named ESDC lets the hogs feed at the trough.

Posted by steve at October 9, 2010 1:44 PM