Does Abu Dhabi Own the Chicago Parking System?


Does Abu Dhabi Own the Chicago Parking System?

Well, sort of kinda, not really. Seem that after Morgan Stanley closed the deal in Chicago they sat out to do what investments banks do all the time, they wanted to use OPM (Other people’s money). So they – well let me quote from the article in the “Atlantic Wire” which quotes freely from Matt Tiabbi in Rolling Stone…

So basically Morgan Stanley found a bunch of investors, including themselves, to put up over a billion dollars in December 2008; a big chunk of those investors then bailed out to make way in February 2009 for this Deeside Investments, which was 49.9 percent owned by Abu Dhabi and 50.1 percent owned by a company called Redoma SARL, about which nothing was known except that it had an address in Luxembourg.

Taibbi calls this a “bait and switch” pulled by Morgan Stanley on Chicago. He explains why this is about more than just parking meters. Now if city officials want to do anything that might disrupt parking meter revenue — let’s say close down parking for a street festival or parade — they need to get the approval of those meters’ shadowy, foreign owners. They also need approval to change parking hours or fees. The new ownership has already made unwelcome changes, ending the previous policy of allowing free parking on holidays. But not only did Chicago cede the operation of an entire segment of the city to mysterious private investors — Taibbi says they could have gotten four times as much money for it, up to $5 billion

I’m not sure about the City of Chicago having to go to the Emirates to get permission to hold a parade, that’s a bit of a stretch. However my guess is that if the AD Investment Group put in a substantial amount of money, they will most likely have someone sitting on the board who will be interested when a money decision is made.


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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