First Our Homes, Now Our Water? | Food & Water Watch:
Following its disastrous foray into the housing market, Wall Street’s latest earnings scheme is as close as your kitchen sink: the finance industry is increasingly targeting public water systems. A new report released today by the national consumer advocacy group Food & Water Watch, Private Equity, Public Inequity: The Public Cost of Private Equity Takeovers of U.S. Water Infrastructure reveals that as of January 2012, private equity players had raised $186 billion through 276 infrastructure funds and were seeking another $93 billion to take over infrastructure worldwide.
As state and local governments face increasing fiscal constraints, private equity funds make what must seem like attractive offers, at least in the short term. But if experience has taught us anything, it is that the long term costs and benefits and other consequences must be taken into account.