Wednesday, February 04, 2004

They could always call Ditech

White House seeks to loan U.N. funds for renovations
The Bush administration's new budget includes a $1.2 billion, 30-year loan to renovate the aging United Nations headquarters and build a new annex, although U.N. officials expressed disappointment that Washington will charge interest on the loan.
I'd offer to demolish the old building for free and then have "left my wallet at home" when it came to building the new place, although the interest is a nice touch.
The loan to fund the U.N. Capital Master Plan still must win approval by Congress and the U.N. General Assembly. The world body must agree to accept the 5.54 percent interest rate. Interest and principal is to be paid off by all member states.
If approved, Washington will pay out $400 million a year for three years, and the organization will have 30 years to pay it back, plus interest. The total bill, with interest, will be close to $2.5 billion.
5.54%! Ditech currently only wants 5.25% on a 30 year loan, but then the UN is a poor credit risk - no income and a champagne lifestyle. It would have been cooler though to send them to the loan sharks - "OK, Kofi, you have until Friday to come up with what you owe or we break your leg!"

Of course, to a large extent we are paying ourselves:
As part of its assessed contribution to the U.N. budget, the United States will supply 22 percent of that repayment figure - $265 million on the principal alone.
Instead of all this flummery, I have a simpler solution - follow the example of the Utah state House of Representatives - Utah House Wants United States Out of UN. But they forgot the "UN out of the US" part.