Then there was No Evidence Past Wage Hikes Changed Economy: Ratner, in which Ratner defended an increase in the minimum wage--"why should I subsidize Wal-Mart workers?" with federal support--and backed New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's effort to increase taxes on the rich to pay for pre-K, noting that Mayors Rudy Giuliani and David Dinkins raised taxes more for new cops.
But the really choice excerpt was Wasn’t Easy, But Bernanke Saved the Economy: Ratner, in which the developer discussed national policy and declared interest rates "the most critical aspect of real estate."
"We look at it very carefully and when we think it is very low, we will very often refinance something and lock it in. It's critical," Ratner declared.
We always don't go for the lowest but we go for as low as we think we can get and we'll lock it in for 10 years, five years, 15 years," he said. "It's very critical. Because you can save more on a low interest rate than you can on buying a building. It is a critical and most important aspect particular of a real estate company."
Unmentioned, but highly relevant, was the revelation, as described here yesterday, that Ratner's firm is trying to reap $249 million in low interest financing from foreign millionaires who will sacrifice return in exchange for green cards, a very sketchy--on several levels--exploitation of a loosely run federal program known as EB-5
More from Ratner: arena hype, Greenland praise
Other excerpts from the interview were I Wouldn’t’ Change a Thing At Barclays: Ratner, in which he claimed he "couldn't be happier," given the arena's lead in sales, tickets and revenue in the country.
The Wall Street Journal's Eliot Brown commented:
Ratner boasts Barclays Ctr #1 arena in revenue; doesn't mention how expenses are equal to revenue (incl debt) http://t.co/vIphJg4s1iIn the other excerpt, Location Is Important, Price Isn’t: Ratner, the developer praises his Chinese partner, the Greenland Group, saying "they are terrific" and "They've been lovely to work with, wonderful. It's probably the top developer in China."
— Eliot Brown (@eliotwb) January 30, 2014
They're also going to benefit, incredibly, by selling green cards to their countrymen.