Category: Municipal finance

Fiscal autonomy = Political autonomy: Part 2, Obstructing his policies

1 December, 2017 (09:00) | Borrowing, Capital markets, China, Cities, Development, Government, Housing, money laundering, Municipal finance, Politics, Speculation, SPVs |

By: David A. Smith [Continued from the previous Part 1.]   As we saw in Part 1, using as the jumping-off-point a disappointingly credulous article in the Economist (November 16, 2017), China’s provinces, territories, and municipalities have indulged in an orgy of off-balance-sheet financing, using Local Government Financing Vehicles.  They did so partly for fiscal […]

Fiscal autonomy = Political autonomy: Part 1, Not subject to the same rules

29 November, 2017 (09:00) | Borrowing, Capital markets, China, Cities, Development, Government, Housing, money laundering, Municipal finance, Politics, Speculation, SPVs |

By: David A. Smith   As every child who’s ever had an allowance knows, among its many virtues money provides autonomy – and almost as good (sometimes better), unobserved autonomy – the freedom to buy what I want, not what my distant imperious parent wants, and not have to listen to a lecture about it […]

Chicago’s left behind: Part 2, Those who are gone

5 April, 2016 (10:00) | Affordability, Chicago, Cities, Demographics, Economics, Housing, Municipal finance, Speculation, Zoning |

 By: David A. Smith   [Continued from yesterday’s Part 1.]   As we saw in yesterday’s Part 1, effects always have causes, and if we wait to act until they have become evident even to those committed to denying them, it will often be too late to do much more than mitigate the losses.  Such […]

Chicago’s left behind: Part 1, Those who remain

4 April, 2016 (10:00) | Affordability, Chicago, Cities, Demographics, Economics, Housing, Municipal finance, Speculation, Zoning |

By: David A. Smith A city’s slow death is a hideous thing, and to watch this happen to Chicago is by turns heartbreaking and  infuriating: heartbreak for the people whose hopes, prospects, choices – their whole lives – are undermined by their city’s failures, and fury at the ecosystem of (mis)government that allows this to […]

The fall of China Mae: Part 3, Everybody laughs at the official statistics

10 March, 2016 (10:00) | Capital markets, China, Cities, Finance, Global news, Housing, Municipal finance, Speculation, Statistics, Theory, Urbanization | 1 comment

By: David A. Smith [Continued from yesterday’s Part 2 and the preceding Part 1.] “FTZs create corporate black boxes through which the anointed may flow money in and out of China.”  – Anne Stevenson-Yang, Research Director. Financial Times. September 26, 2014. Starting from the presumption that one knows nothing about China has proven to be a […]