There were also a few bills that were unique to the area — like the $64 sewer bill that Pack and her family paid each month. "Yeah, it went up about 400 percent just over the past few years," she says.
The sewer bill, in fact, is what cost Pack and her co-workers their jobs. In 1996, the average monthly sewer bill for a family of four in Birmingham was only $14.71 — but that was before the county decided to build an elaborate new sewer system with the help of out-of-state financial wizards with names like Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase. The result was a monstrous pile of borrowed money that the county used to build, in essence, the world's grandest toilet — "the Taj Mahal of sewer-treatment plants" is how one county worker put it.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Old School Corruption.
Matt Taibbi wrote a piece for Rolling Stone called Looting Main Street, where he points out the awful behavior of not only local politicians in Jefferson County Alabama, but also the predatory lending practices of companies like JP Morgan Chase.
As I have said a million times, Taibbi is the best at breaking down the financial crisis and how the players took advantage to make their billions.
Taibbi's Jefferson County article is a must read.