"A child's learning is the funtion more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, May 10, 2010

It's Lucrative, Baby

Last Wednesday, Entertainment Properties Trust announced they'd be offering $147.6 of common shares for their ongoing operating expenses, expansion opportunities, and debt repayment. EPT, remember, is really excited about the possibility of expanding into the charter school market (primarily, at least so far, via the entirely benevolent and not-in-it-for-the-money do-gooders at Imagine Schools; full list of Imagine Schools owned by EPT available here). The company's recent shareholder update mentioned they have "two primary asset classes" primed for expansion: movie theaters and charter schools.

Here's a bit from their recent announcement about this new investment opportunity:
Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Goldman, Sachs & Co., J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. and KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. are acting as joint book running managers for the offering. RBC Capital Markets Corporation is acting as lead manager and FBR Capital Markets & Co. is acting as co-manager for the offering.
So here's the deal, folks: while Imagine is busy screwing over communities by charging obscene rates for occupancy and extracting profits in other ways, some of that money eventually winds up, yes, in the pockets of the Wall Street casino capitalists. And, yes, those very same banksters held a gun to our collective heads just a few years back and said, "Give us trillions, or else." They got the money, the economy still tanked, and state budgets - the main piggy bank funding our public schools - shrank mightily, causing teacher layoffs, oversized classes, and the sweeping privatization push that is backed by both the Demojacks and Republicrats.

Meanwhile, hedge fund managers are pushing charters with the kind of gusto they normally reserve for their day jobs. And it wasn't entirely a surprise to read that someone from Goldman Sachs will be at the NewSchools Venture Fund gathering this Wednesday (h/t to Russo). They know where the money is. C'mon - you don't think they'd waste their time doing something simply for the social good, do you?

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