The Barbershop has re-located

The proprietor has moved the shop to ChicagoNow, a Chicago Tribune site that showcases some of the best bloggers in the Chicago area. You can logo on to the Barbershop home page here. The ChicagoNow home page is here.

You'll still be able to post comments with the same ease as in this location. The proprietor also will keep this web site alive if you wish to review old posts.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

More subsidies for the wealthy

The Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, whose merger is a done deal, pride themselves on being an arena for the pure marketplace. At least that's what we hear whenever some regulator suggests that it should increase its oversight. The very thought is enough to choke on an option.

Yet, along comes Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley suggesting that the city "absolutely" give the merged companies a multi-million-dollar subsidy to stay in town. Not that anyone had seriously threatened a move as a result of the merger, but you never know, right? Maybe it's just a wedding present, who knows? The money would come from a city tax increment finance district, a neat way that government increases our tax burden without us feeling like we've been burdened.

Considering the controversy surrounding TIFs, it'll be interesting to see just how seriously the two exchanges take their own free market credo. If offered the money, will they take it, or will they stand on principle? Maybe we could make a futures market on the outcome.

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