atans1

Sounds like our tpt and public housing systems

In Private Equity, Public Administration on 03/07/2016 at 5:36 am

But first

When the population surged by half a million:
Did PAP increase the number of hospital beds? No
Did PAP construct additional housing to cater to the population increase? No.
Did PAP conduct additional maintenance for our MRT? No

(One of TRE’s usual suspects and he has a point: remember PM’s apology of sorts in 2011.)

This brings us to the issues of public tpt and public housing where, inter alia, the NYT Dealbook explains why the profit-motive and doesn’t work, as does cutting costs, increasing prices. (But note that the New York Times is more socialist than Mad Dog Chee. It pretends to be capitalist.)

IN PRIVATE EQUITY’S HANDS, PUBLIC SERVICES AND HOUSING IN DISARRAYSince the 2008 financial crisis, private equity firms have taken over a widening array of civic and financial services that are central to American life, Danielle Ivory, Ben Protess and Kitty Bennett report in DealBook. People interact with private equity when they call emergency services, pay their mortgage, play a round of golf or turn on the kitchen tap for a glass of water.

Unlike other for-profit companies, which often have years of experience in certain services, private equity’s main skill is to make money. And in many of these businesses, it applied a sophisticated moneymaking playbook, cutting costs, increasing prices, litigating and lobbying, a Times investigation has found.

In emergency care and firefighting, this has created a fundamental tension when there is a push to turn a profit while caring for people in their most vulnerable moments. And the effects have been dire. Under private equity ownership, some ambulance response times worsened, heart monitors failed and companies slid into bankruptcy. In at least two cases, lawsuits contend, poor service led to patient deaths.

Cities and towns have struggled to pay for public infrastructure and ambulance services since the financial crisis and private equity stepped in. At the same time, private equity firms have moved in where banks have scaled back their mortgage operations. The shift has happened with relatively little scrutiny, and now private equity firms are repeating the mistakes that banks made during the housing crisis, Matthew Goldstein, Rachel Abrams and Ben Protess report. They are quick to foreclose on homeowners and are losing families’ mortgage paperwork, much as the banks did.

Many of these practices were enabled by the federal government, which sold tens of thousands of discounted mortgages to private equity investors, while making few demands on how they treated struggling homeowners.

The Times examined the largest private equity firms operating in the housing industry to assess their impact on homeowners and renters. Lone Star Funds’ mortgage operation has aggressively pushed thousands of homeowners toward foreclosure. Nationstar Mortgage, which leaped over big banks to become the fourth-largest collector of mortgage bills, repeatedly lost loan files and failed to detect errors in other documents. Its mistakes put borrowers “at significant risk of servicing and foreclosure abuses,” according to regulatory records.

When it invests in real estate, private equity also needs to compete for middle-market renters to serve pension fund investors that have come to expect strong returns. As a result, it tends to focus on suburban communities where relatively few people hold federal subsidy vouchers. “These firms are going into markets which would have recovered anyway,” said Alan Mallach, senior fellow at the Center for Community Progress, a nonprofit that advises communities on dealing with vacant and blighted homes. As a result, many of the working poor are being bypassed.

Read more about The Times investigations into broadening private equity ownership here.

Now this sounds like S’pore:  As a result, many of the working poor are being bypassed.

And I speak as someone who has good experiences using SingHealth, and public tpt (Off-peak of course. But pre-2011 GE, this was painful.)

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