Friday, May 29, 2009

How PEU Boys Train Government Contractors

The State of Florida received no lease bids on Alligator Alley, a 78 mile toll road that's part of Interstate 75. It crosses South Florida, roughly from Naples to Ft. Lauderdale. Why did Florida get no bids, given the billions in private infrastructure money? A clue might be found here:

The state's primary objective in pursuing the lease was to maximize the asset's value to the state for reinvestment in transportation facilities while maintaining the road's safety standards, service levels and overall quality.

Private equity underwriters (PEU's) don't care about maximizing the state's assets. They want to buy or lease public infrastructure on the cheap. Just like most PEU's waited to invest in banks, they'll bide their time while state budgets implode.

When government is stressed enough and returns great enough, the PEU boys will bid. Consider this interim training for bureaucrats.