De Blasio Deputy Acknowledges Hiring Process Has Been a ‘Bit Slower Than Some’

Anthony Shorris. (Photo: med.nyu.edu)
Anthony Shorris. (Photo: med.nyu.edu)

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first deputy mayor this morning provided a rosy assessment of the administration’s tenure so far, concluding that “we’re in a pretty credible place,” despite a “few bumps along the way.”

Speaking to business leaders, lobbyists and reporters at a Crain’s New York Business breakfast forum in Midtown, Mr. Shorris broke with the mayor and acknowledged the pace of appointments in the administration has been “a bit slower than some.” Continue reading “De Blasio Deputy Acknowledges Hiring Process Has Been a ‘Bit Slower Than Some’”

John Catsimatidis Not Letting Go of Lhota’s Mall Cops Gaffe

Catsimatidis getting the endorsement of the Sergeants Benevolent Association. (Photo: Twitter/@JCats2013)
John Catsimatidis today. (Photo: Twitter/@JCats2013)

Republican mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis was endorsed by one of the city’s police unions earlier today, and used the opportunity to once again bring up his chief opponent Joe Lhota’s most significant gaffe to date.

“I don’t try to call them ‘mall cops,’ which is wrong,” said Mr. Catsimatidis via spokesman Rob Ryan, following a press conference near City Hall, where the Sergeants Benevolent Association anointed Mr. Catsimatidis their Republican pick.

Continue reading “John Catsimatidis Not Letting Go of Lhota’s Mall Cops Gaffe”

After Audit, Bloomberg Defends Port Authority’s Rush to Build 9/11 Museum And Memorial

michael bloomberg1 300x200 After Audit, Bloomberg Defends Port Authoritys Rush to Build 9/11 Museum And Memorial
Mayor Bloomberg (Photo: Getty)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the push to open the September 11 Memorial and Museum by the tenth anniversary of the attacks after Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie released an audit citing the drive to open the facility by the historic date as a major factor behind $3.8 billion in cost overruns at the Ground Zero construction site.

“I dont know where those numbers come from,” Mayor Bloomberg said at a press conference yesterday. “Could you imagine if America couldn’t have come up with a memorial by the tenth anniversary? I would suggest the press would have had a field day. It would have gone on and on. It would have been embarrassment around the world.” Continue reading “After Audit, Bloomberg Defends Port Authority’s Rush to Build 9/11 Museum And Memorial”

Cuomo Wants To Teach SUNY Students About “Something Called Financial Reality”

governor cuomo suny Cuomo Wants To Teach SUNY Students About Something Called Financial Reality
Governor Cuomo (Getty)

Governor Andrew Cuomo said he thinks the students of the State University of New York system need to deal with tuition hikes and learn about “financial reality.” Continue reading “Cuomo Wants To Teach SUNY Students About “Something Called Financial Reality””

Port Authority Losing Millions on Swaps

bayonne Port Authority Losing Millions on SwapsThe Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is shelling out more than $2 million per month on three interest rate swaps tied to bonds that either never were issued or have long since been refunded.

In all, the agency has paid Wall Street banks more than $37 million since 2007 to cover the three swaps, which currently have a market value of approximately negative $145 million.  When combined with other swaps the agency has paid to terminate over the past two years, the total swaps payout crests $70 million since 2007.

The swaps are basically an exchange of a fixed payment by the PA for a variable one from a counterparty tied to a short term interest rate.  The derivatives, which are essentially a bet with another company on which way interest rates will move, are meant to protect the PA in the event that interest rates soar.  When used as a hedge, a swap is designed to lock in a low fixed rate payment to offset the long term risk of a variable rate bond.  The variable rate payment paid by the counter party is designed to track the rate paid by the PA on the bonds, offsetting each other and mitigating the risk of soaring rates. Continue reading “Port Authority Losing Millions on Swaps”

In Defense of Overtime

New York state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s audit about overtime at the Port Authority is adding momentum to Governor Cuomo’s criticism about the agency’s management.

On his weekly radio show this morning, Mayor Bloomberg — whose private sector ethos hasn’t been eroded by a decade of public service — offers a countervailing view of overtime.

“You can cut anything, that doesn’t make it a rational policy…overtime really is part of good management cause you just don’t want the maximum work force for the maximum one-time-a-year when you need it.”