Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Who will pay for Sandy?

"It's Global Warming, Stupid," claims Bloomberg. And whose fault is that? Taxpayers? Insurers? Property owners?

Who will pay for Sandy?

President Obama toured the Shore by helicopter with NJ Gov. Chris Christie. Mitt Romney held a canned-goods drive for Sandy victims at a campaign event. The bigger question, asks McClatchy Newspapers': who's going to pay for the mess Hurricane Sandy left behind?

Damage estimates run into the tens of billions. Standard & Poor's notes that insurance will cover something north of $5 billion of that. But that doesn't include the cost of draining, replacing and protecting NYC subway equipment -- or the billions in NJ barrier-island repairs for uninsured roads and property. 

"The program, like much in Sandy’s wake, is itself under water," McClatchy reports. "It has a $17 billion deficit, but it also has more than $900 million in cash and $3 billion in borrowing authority to cover claims, according to both FEMA and insurers.

 “A lot of people have been hurt by Hurricane Sandy who don’t have flood insurance,” Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a government watchdog group, told McClatchy. "He predicted that claims will be greater than the available funds, and FEMA will have to ask Congress for more money: 'Sandy will bankrupt it.'" 

Separately, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, owned by the Mayor of New York, puts the blame for Sandy damage squarely on... Global Warming -- and notes insurers say the number of expensive weather-related storms has been rising rapidly -- though it also notes, it's useful for insurers to say so.

Joseph N. DiStefano
About this blog

PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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