The Washington Post:
Metro officials are scheduled to ask a federal judge today to temporarily bar a Belgian bank [KBC Group] from collecting $43 million from the cash-strapped transit agency. The bank is demanding the payment because its long-term financing agreement with Metro has unraveled, a consequence of the global credit crisis.Naturally, the Washington area's congressional delegation (and make-believe Congresswoman Eleanore Holmes Norton) are lobbying the Treasury Department to back Metro using the $700 billion bailout package approved by Congress a month ago or so. Squeezing $43 million out of $700 billion shouldn't be too difficult, and even if it is, Congress will probably pass additional bailouts so be on the lookout for one of the biggest Congressional earmarks in DC history.
That would mean less money for much-needed capital projects, including overhauling escalators, fixing tunnel leaks, upgrading train communication equipment and buying buses.
As much as I despise Metro, even I admit its only reasonable to keep those shit trains solvent. But I can't help being confused by two things (partly due to my ignorance of the lending industry): #1) Who in the fuck would ever ever EVER invest in Metro?? Buyer beware, Belgium. And #2) Why with this obvious crisis are people advocating constructing not one but TWO new metro lines-- Purple for Maryland and Silver for Dulles??
With respect to point numero uno, the Washington Post explains how Metro got the cash:
Known as lease-back transactions, the deals were done from the late 1980s to 2003, and allowed cash-strapped agencies, such as Metro, to sell their rail cars or other equipment to private companies, such as banks, and then lease them back.I ask you, Belgium, did you even bother examining the trains? Did you not think to review Metro's dismal safety record or ever-expanding operating budget to say nothing about investigating the city's inability to manage its budget or keep District employees from embezzling millions of dollars? Use "teh Google" next time, frenchie. Wikipedia has some great pics of like three Metro derailments.
I just can't get over this. It's like Belgium tried to pimp out a hooker without first inspecting the goods. In this case, the chick turned out to be a bearded transvestite with a huge hairy cock... who knew!? (By the way, I'm pretty sure this is the living arrangement of a couple in my building).
Well, we all knew that Metro was nothing more than a cracked out tranny giving lousy handjobs for $2.20 a pop. Moreover, all of those people wanting to spend MORE taxpayer dollars to expand the system KNOW THIS TOO and they need to STFU.
Transit officials, grow a pair and start telling people "NO." And city officials, back them up. Doors closing, bitches.