October 12, 2018

Wall Street Is Spending Big to Protect Its Ability to Jack up Rents in California

FOR SOME ON Wall Street, the financial crash of 2008 represented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Homeowners who’d been walloped by the very crisis Wall Street had created were struggling to pay their mortgages, so financiers swooped in and bought up foreclosed homes, knowing the assets would eventually rise in price again.  

But with so many people foreclosed on and out of work, selling the homes was difficult, so Wall Street hit on a different approach: renting them out. Now, the biggest practitioner of this gambit is spending heavily to make sure it stays lucrative…

The $45 million from the “No on Prop 10″ campaign is not the most expensive opposition campaign to an initiative on this year’s ballot, incredibly enough. Two outpatient dialysis companies, DaVita and Fresenius, have donated $90 million as part of a $99.3 million campaign to defeat Proposition 8, which would put a cap on their profits.

Though Invitation Homes provided a statement, Blackstone did not return requests for comment. Blackstone’s Schwarzman may have been preoccupied with preparing for an investor conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — days after the alleged state-sponsored murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi regime — held at the same Ritz-Carlton Hotel where Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman jailed dozens of rivals for weeks last year in a bid to consolidate power.

Read more on the Intercept