Since the 2008 financial crisis, Fortress and other private equity firms have rapidly expanded their influence, assuming a pervasive, if under-the-radar, role in daily American life, an investigation by The New York Times has found. Sophisticated political maneuvering — including winning government contracts, shaping public policy and deploying former public officials to press their case — is central to this growth.
Yet even as private equity wields such influence in the halls of state capitols and in Washington, it faces little public awareness of its government activities, The Times found.
Along a 200-mile stretch of Florida’s eastern coast, FORTRESS IS EMBARKING ON ITS BOLDEST PROJECT YET: the nation’s only purely private intercity passenger railroad.
The project, All Aboard Florida, is expected to take five years and nearly $3 billion to build. At speeds reaching 100 miles an hour, it plans to eventually carry passengers from Miami to Orlando, with stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
And if trains start rolling next year, as planned, and prove successful, the project may provide a template for private investment in public infrastructure for years to come.
Yet this ambitious private project hinged on the blessing of government officials.