Saturday, May 28, 2011

Genting Berhad to transform downtown Miami: what is Miami, the Magic City, good for?

After being elected governor in November 2010, Rick Scott hopped on his private jet and headed to Las Vegas to meet with casino entrepreneurs. How will Scott create all those jobs he promised voters. In seven years, 700,000 jobs. He is betting all that Brazilian cash from a fire hose of Chinese investments will accrue to the advantage of the ultra-secure Florida "ownership society" as a safe haven. This is no hyperbole. This week, the NY Times reported on the evolving economic relationship between China and Brazil: "... some experts say the partnership has devolved into a classic neo-colonial relationship in which China has the upper hand." Who better to vacuum up US dollars sucked up by renminbi, converted to Brazilian reals, back to dollars than the Chinese? Who better to understand neo-colonial values, than Miami politicians?

The photos above are from the Malaysia based company that just bought the building and property owned by the Herald: Genting Berhad. And why wouldn't Chinese buy the Miami Herald property and building in downtown Miami for three times the next highest investment?

I wouldn't wait for the Miami Herald to print highly critical stories about the effects of gambling on Florida, any more than the Herald wrote critically of the massive fraud underlying the unsustainable building boom in downtown Miami that tied Herald executives, compensation, and prestige to speculators and facilitators (often one and the same) like Greenberg Traurig. For that insight, you will have to continue reading Eyeonmiami. But the Herald did print a story on the lobbying effort in the Tallahassee legislature, "Genting Malaysia Berhad said that they plan only to build a resort, since casinos are not authorized yet, but indicated its interest in continuing a push for a full-fledged casino."

Genting was part of the lobbying assault team in Tallahassee this year, along with Wynn Casinos and Sands. Gov. Scott has stayed in touch with Sands' owner Sheldon Adelson since meeting with him last November.

The United States economy has already spent the better part of thirty years engaged as a host consumer supporting emergent economies in Asia, with the net effect of creating a shell game with the American middle class. The shell game metaphor isn't coincidental to the notion of creating jobs from gambling. According to a 1999 report by "The National Gambling Impact Study Commission": "The most salient fact about gambling in Americaand the impetus for the creation of the National Gambling Impact Study Commission (NGISC)is that over the past 25 years, the United States has been transformed from a nation in which legalized gambling was a limited and a relatively rare phenomenon into one in which such activity is common and growing." The Commission called for a pause in licensing casinos by government. "Without a pause and reflection the future does indeed look worrisome. Were one to use the experience of the last quarter century to predict the evolution of gambling over the next, a likely scenario would be for gambling to continue to become more and more common, ultimately omnipresent in our lives and those of our children, with consequences no one can profess to know." Now we have a decade of hindsight, to know.

The website, Stop Urban Casinos, recently wrote: "Clearly, land-based casinos are in a challenging position currently, due in no small part to the state of the U.S. economy. I live in the gambling industry’s version of ground zero (i.e. Las Vegas), and I get to see firsthand how the economic slump has greatly impacted the gambling scene. Casino structures are left unfinished, with no new construction on the books. The layoffs of hundreds, even thousands, of casinos workers has taken a toll on the community. And reports come in daily of such and such casino posting quarter losses in the millions. That’s just Vegas, Atlantic City is doing even worse."

Miami? All those renminbi need to get recycled somewhere. Las Vegas is owned by Steve Wynn and the other American billionaires. The Chinese are flooding Las Vegas owned by Americans. In Macau, the gringos only get 49% ownership. Here, they can own 100 percent. Here, it is the "free market". The Chinese want ownership in America, to repatriate those recycled renminbi from Brazil and elsewhere in Latin and South America. In the Miami Herald, real estate consultant Michael Y. Canon practically exulted, “Miami has come of age, when you see world investments like this moving in. We are becoming what I call a city-state.” It is an interesting calculation, to call Miami-- one of the most corrupt places in America-- a city-state. But a neo-colonial city-state is not be far off the mark. After all, the most radical, conservative legislature in Florida history just finished eviscerating state authority for growth management. The intent is to leave cities and counties to the thieves, throwing open the doors to the granaries.

Scott vetoed a $400K study sought by the gambling industry, to be funded by taxpayers. The veto was plausible deniability; just for show, like the crappy little pup tent of a demonstration project recently erected at Miami International Airport for gambling. In his veto letter, Scott telegraphed the future: "I believe it is important to have a full consideration of the positive economic impact, the costs that may result from (gambling), and the impact on current gaming in our state." Indeed the cost of the study was a pittance; a crumb fallen from a bread plate at Caesar's Palace.  Count on a gaming study showing up soon in Florida paid for by industry. It will brightly show "promise" and "hope": two positions on the green felt of Florida's future.


Anonymous said...

Canon is the Neisen Kasdin of real estate consultants saying anything to get his name in print. Pimping schemes is always good business in Miami.

youbetcha' said...

I absolutely hate living in Florida and watching it go down the tubes.

We are being suffocated by special interests and we are too mentally small in this county to see that outsiders are using our "neediness" to their own end.

Everything that is happening with Scott and our own local nitwits is going to create jobs to build, then destroy, our economy. They are on the second verse of the same song. History repeats itself.

Anonymous said...

The three biggest opponents to gambling in Florida: Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Gimleteye.

Anonymous said...

The three biggest supporters of Gambling...Lobbyist Ron Book, Mayor of Hialeah Julio Robaina and Congressman Asshole David Rivera. Correct that: They are all assholes.

Chief Squatting Bear said...

I am beginning to believe this blog is bought and paid for by the Seminole tribe.

Anonymous said...

Chief....meaning that we want the tribe to maintain the edge on gambling? Funny.

Anonymous said...

I want casinos for Miami!!!!! Real casinos, like Vegas.
Like me, I know of hundreds of people that want it too. Nothing to do with politics, nor despicable candidates like Rivera nor Robaina. I just want casinos.

The Real AnthonyVOP said...

Once again those on the left and R.I.N.O.s show how much more they know how people should live their lives better than the people themselves.

Mind your own business! Nobody is forcing anyone to gamble(Spare me the stupid disease argument. Nobody is forcing anyone to go a casino.

As long as you are not being forced then you have no moral right to tell them what they can or cannot do.

Anonymous said...

Gambling is just a way to divert money from poor people and others who don't have enough to spare to billionaires.
Casinos take rent money and food money from the poor.

Anonymous said...

The record is totally clear that casinos do not expand the economy and that the idea they provide "revenue" to the state, above and beyond what they take, is a myth. The pro-casino forces are pulling out arguments that were stale 20 years ago but in Florida, anything goes especially with Pink Slip Rick.

Anonymous said...

With foreign owned Gentling any profits will be sent overseas. Gambling takes peoples rent money.

Gentling hired the legal whore Neisan Kasden to lobby for them.