Here is another take on Goldman Sachs's deal with Mayor Bloomberg:
Goldman Sachs's New York prison deal saves all the risk for the taxpayer
By Jason Farago - The Guardian
. . . .
We already know this song. In any situation where the private sector and government are both involved, there's an implicit guarantee: when it all goes wrong, the corporation can bail and the state has no option but to pick up the slack. It's dandy enough when privatized rail or for-profit security services are humming along, but when harder times come the corporations, whatever their bushy-tailed do-gooder capitalist roaders may have promised, have no incentive to make things better. Replacing public responsibility with private profit is a one-way bargain. There is no line item for the common good on an annual report.
In such a system the private sector may make money, but ultimately we're the ones who shoulder all the risk – a situation that the bankers at Goldman will find very familiar. But if we were really serious about reducing recidivism rates, offering second chances to young offenders, improving quality of life in the city, or just about any other public good, there is a much simpler way to do it than through a baroque "social impact bond". It's called public spending, and the best way to fund it is to tax, tax, tax. I can think of a bank where we could start.
Read the full piece here