For Philanthropically Inclined Investment Bankers, Drug Lords, and Other Double Bottom Line Social Investors Looking to Do Good and Do Well While Advancing Ordered Liberty, Property Rights, and The Justice System in the Ownership Society With Rising GNP and Personal Accountability for the Lower Social Orders and Rising Net Worth, Influence and Power for those upon whom Fortune and the Market Smile.
BBC: "A new study of US prisons has found that numbers of people in jail are at an all-time high, with more than 1% of the adult population behind bars." Helpful info here for those who would like to invest in prisons and so address a growing social need.
Digby has more. Also see Catherine Austin Fitts, a former investment banker, for the back story on how the investors and investment bankers get a "pop" from every prisoner consigned to a for profit facility. Raise high the champaign glasses every time the police roust the crack house. Each guest in a for profit facility will make investors a fortune. Shall we call the Governor? A little campaign contribution here, a little grease there, and the big wheels keep on turning. From the profits made on prisons, why not donate a few bucks to the Crystal Charity Ball? A great place to make friends with those who matter.
If you were a drug lord, or an investment professional working for same, would a for profit prison going up in some good clean town be a good mission aligned investment, as you send in your team of dealers? Then maybe you can buy the real estate cheap. Then maybe you can buy out the tottering local bank. With your own CDs in that bank, FDIC insured, and the investments backing them gone, you can collect from the government. Then maybe you can pull the dealers out, let the police clean things up, and get another pop off the real estate, and another pop off the bank as the town comes back to life, and a big pop from the for profit prison. The law and order Govenor will be in your pocket too. And you may be feted for your philanthropy, setting up a double bottom line bakery, to employ the recently released prisoners at low wages, to make artisanal breads for your friends. What percentage, I wonder, of our economy, whether above ground or underground, circulates through such double bottom line social ventures, criminal enterprises, investment banking deals, campaign contributions, a legal system in the witting/unwitting service of crime, the legislatures, and philanthropy? Actually, I would rather not know. Dashiell Hammett could have written a fine novel on such themes.
As the Emperor Vespasian said of the toilet tax, "Pecunia non olet," money has no smell. If we did not let the social capital markets work, and money and favors and philanthropy circulate freely, the whole system would explode, with stench everywhere.