When one of my favorite readers sent me the news late this afternoon, I didn’t believe it.
When Bloomberg News Service wrote seeking a comment a few moments later, I almost drove off the road.
Personally, I can’t make my mortgage payments, but like Connecticut’s other taxpayers, it turns out that I managed to scrounge together $115 million for Bridgewater Associates, the world’s biggest hedge fund.
In fact, since the state is borrowing the money, it will actually cost Connecticut’s taxpayers over $200 million.
$200 million to a company that paid its founder, Ray Dalio, $3.9 billion last year.
And what do we get for it.
Bridgewater will build a $750 million headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.
And the bargain is that it only costs us $25 million for a “’forgivable” 10-year loan with interest set at 1 percent”, plus $80 million in tax credits, $5 million for some type of “alternative-energy system” and $5 million for job training…although the 154,000 Connecticut residents on unemployment and the additional $100,000 who have part-time jobs when they really want full time jobs shouldn’t hold their breath; Bridgewater is very particular about the types of people it hires.
Oh, and the kicker, they will be moving their offices….FROM WESTPORT, CONNECTICUT!
My first response to the reporter wasn’t printable, so I stopped the car, took a deep breath and tried again.
The following is what made the Bloomberg News article, under the sub-headline, “‘Shocking’ Deal”:
“This is stealing from the poor and middle class to make a billionaire even richer…“This isn’t economic development…[it is] shocking beyond words…If a Republican governor did this, we Democrats would be calling for impeachment,” said Jonathan Pelto, a Democrat and former deputy majority leader in Connecticut’s House of Representatives.
(updated) The Governor, who held a press conferences, issued a “statement” which read, in part, “to have a company of Bridgewater’s stature make the business decision to invest $750 million in our state and significantly increase its workforce is not only an extraordinary economic win, but signals to the rest of the world that Connecticut is strengthening its leadership position in the very competitive financial services sector,”
When the Bloomberg reporter called the Governors office and Bridgewater for more details, he was left to write, “Malloy didn’t respond to requests for additional comments. Alexei Nabarro, a Bridgewater spokesman, also didn’t respond.”
That said, the Malloy statement did include some nice words from Bridgewater, who said that the company and Malloy share a “vision of creating a state of the art and environmentally sustainable office campus… [And that the new headquarters will] “facilitate creativity, collaboration and help reinforce Bridgewater’s distinct culture.”
There is more, much more…but my kids and dogs are yelping, so I need to go heat up some leftovers.
The full Bloomberg News article can be found here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-15/connecticut-aids-bridgewater-hedge-fund-to-build-new-hq.html