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AIG Bailout to Fund Barclays' Naming Rights Deal For Forest City Enterprises' Proposed Barclays Center Arena

On Sunday AIG revealed the counterparties who benefited from the $170 billion taxpayer bailout of the besieged company. $400 million of that bailout would go to a proposed basketball arena, which, if it’s ever built, is already slated to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies funded by New York City, New York State and federal taxpayers, and is reliant on New York state’s use of eminent domain to seize homes and businesses.

Britain’s Barclays Bank was the beneficiary of some $8.5 billion worth of the AIG bailout by US taxpayers. Barclays has a $400 million naming-rights deal for Forest City Enterprises developer Bruce Ratner’s proposed $1 billion Barclays Center basketball arena, the centerpiece of the company’s floundering Atlantic Yards development plan in Brooklyn, New  York.

Thus the American taxpayer is, in essence, picking up the tab for a British bank’s $400 million vanity project.

In February there was a political and public uproar over Citigroup’s $400 million naming rights deal for the nearly completed home of the New York Mets—Citi Field—because  the financial firm had received $45 billion worth of the TARP bailout.  At the time the New York Daily Newsreported that the House Financial Services Committee Chair, Congressman Barney Frank, said that:

...Naming rights deals will be off limits for firms taking taxpayer money in the next $350 billion installment of bailout money for banks and financial institutions.

"I'm confident you won't see anything like that going forward," in the next bailout round, Frank said.

Unlike Citi Field, the proposed Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn has not even broken ground, meaning the deal is reversible.

Originally posted to BrooklynBoy on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 12:34 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Boondoggle (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard, Jazzenterprises

    Let's hope that Frank helps put an end to this.

    What is the status of Paterson funneling stimulus money to this boondoggle? Is that still on the table?

  •  Hmmm (0+ / 0-)

    1 comment on yet more scandal...unfortunately this is becoming commoplace.

    I love the smell of napalm in the morning

    by Jazzenterprises on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 01:21:18 PM PDT

  •  This is Sort of Reaching the Point of Absurdity (0+ / 0-)

    What Barclays does with the money is sort of irrelevent.  AIG is an insurance company.  There was no pretext that they were distributing the money in order to generate car loans or something.  These were "valid" insurance claims, or at least valid enough that the government decided to foot the bill for them.

    If spittle & tooth=vigor & youth Bill-O & Savage won't grow any older If wishes & dreams=bitches & beams We'll all live in skyscrapers bu

    by TooFolkGR on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 02:06:38 PM PDT

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