Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Venture capital in the next 300 years

Congratulations on resil-ing like nobody never resiled before, New Orleans. As soon as we've all caught our collective breath, the mayor is going to start pushing us to help with his Tricentennial "legacy" project.

The history of the Landrieu administration will be written as a series of steamrolling PR stunts.  1) "We have to do all this stuff in time for the Superbowl!" 2) "We have to do all this stuff in time for Katrina10!" And now we will sprint with Mitch once again to celebrate 300 years of... well.. never quite getting everything done.

It will be a big party, though.  It's hard to imagine there being any Presidents this time. But we're going to have to come up with some sort of buzzword to match "Resilience" anyway. As long as they stay away from anything that invokes the idea of a "Next 300 years" or even a "Next 50 years"  they'll save themselves some embarrassment.

Although, some folks are already making contingency plans
A long-proposed offshore megaport at the end of the Mississippi River could start to take shape next year, with its supporters hailing it as the most significant economic development in Louisiana history.

Leaders at existing ports applaud their optimistic outlook but question whether the project is a viable undertaking.

Backers of the Louisiana International Deep Water Gulf Transportation Terminal (LIGTT) announced Monday (Aug. 31) they have amassed enough private financing to begin the first phase of a $10 billion project. They held a press conference at the Westin New Orleans, complete with champagne and the cutting of a cake shaped like a cargo ship.

The champion of the project is state Sen. A.G. Crowe, the Pearl River lawmaker who crafted a law approved in 2008 creating a public-private partnership to build the port. He serves as president of the board overseeing the port project as an adviser to its management team.

"No doubt this project has had its skeptics," Crowe said. "So did the Superdome. So did the Causeway."
Whoah talk about your Iconic Structures, right?   Of course they've only got $25 million to begin their $10 billion dollar project.  Also this could very well be something of a scam because 1) AG Crowe and 2) This probably isn't the end of this.
Crowe had originally sought investors for LIGTT through the EB-5 visa program, which provides U.S. visas to foreigners in exchange for significant investments. Such funding never materialized and money for the first phase will instead come from the Bank of Montreal and a handful of Wall Street investment firms, some represented at Monday's announcement.
Yeah, well, there's plenty of phases left. And those EB-5s can be a gold mine
(Horn Lake, MS) James Madison remembers when the GreenTech electric car plant moved into a vacant factory near his home in Horn Lake a few years ago.

But he hasn't seen much evidence of their work

"Ain't seen many electric cars come out from over there,"

More than a year ago, a whistleblower told News Channel 3 he didn't make any cars while working at the plant in Horn Lake.

Since then, others have come forward saying the same thing.

That, in part, has prompted a federal investigation into the car maker.

Part of that investigation centers on the companies use of the EB-5 visa program for its investors in China.

Those EB-5 visas allow foreigners who invest half a million dollars in certain businesses, and meet several other criteria, to come live in the United States.

"Ten days, I think about 14 different cities. We put on three to four conferences every day," said former Horn Lake Mayor Nat Baker, who Greentech asked to help sell the company to Chinese investors in 2010.

But he says the company spent as much time selling the visas as it did selling cars.
"It was kind of a 50/50, they presented the cars and they also presented the EB-5."
At the same time, though, maybe they really are looking to build this massive floating port facility in the Gulf. After all, in "The Next 300 Years" industry and government can either invest in protecting the South Louisiana wetlands and the people who live there, or they can make sure they have the infrastructure to keep sucking money out of the area even after it's all sunk beneath the sea.

Or failing that, maybe they'll scam something off of at least the idea.

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