Sunday, July 15, 2012

Flashback to the groundbreaking: Bloomberg on arena amnesia; Markowitz hyping (now-imprisoned) Kruger; Barclays' (now-departed) Diamond says arena events fit "with the ethos and the values of Barclays"

In the wake of a troubling week for Barclays (and a big week for the Nets), Battle for Brooklyn filmmaker Michael Galinsky pulled together a few clips from the March 2010 arena groundbreaking, which have a special resonance.

The first is from Mayor Mike Bloomberg, a supercilious prediction of amnesia: "And for those that say it took a long time to get here, yes it did. But nobody's going to remember how long it took. They're only going to look and see that it was done."

Then, in his mugging manner, Borough President Marty Markowitz hammed it up, introducing "[one of] the most important elected officials ever coming out of Brooklyn, the chairman of the finance committee, Sen. Carl Kruger. Right Carl? The power returned to Brooklyn because of you."

Kruger, of course, was indicted on corruption charges and is now in federal prison.

The video


barclays Center ground breaking from rumur on Vimeo.

The Barclays bit

Markowitz turned to Barclays, which he called "the key corporate partner of the Barclays Center. Since the 20-year naming rights partnership was announced in January of' 07, Barclays has offered nothing but resolute and great support and been unwavering in its commitment to the Barclays Center."

This, of course, is a big fat lie, but Markowitz really doesn't mind saying what's put in front of him. The naming rights agreement was renegotiated twice and cut nearly in half.

"Barclays shares our love for Brooklyn and is committed to our community," Markowitz continued. "And so it is with great enthusiasm to introduce this shining Diamond, and he is, the one and only president of Barclays PLC, Bob Diamond." Not anymore is he president.

Diamond stepped to the podium: "Many events will be held here at the Barclays Center, not just sports, many great events. All of them will emphasize commitment. All of them will emphasize dedication to excellence. And all of them will emphasize teamwork. And that fits very, very strongly with the ethos and the values of Barclays. And that's very simple. That's because all of these are central to the way we do business with our clients."

Now that we know how Barclays did do business--manipulated interest rates--it makes you wonder whether there will be any point-shaving at the Barclays Center.

"And all of these are central to the principle we've always held that it's important that we give back part of what we earn to the communities in which we work, not just once in a while, but every single year," Diamond said.

As long as the Barclays Nets Community Alliance takes the credit for work paid mostly by taxpayers.

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