- Jun 4, 2004
I keep coming back to the fact that it is not Vermont values to have high esteem for someone who engages in dishonesty and/or deception. You can believe that it was a "communications error" to take nine months to tell investors that their equity interest was wiped out. I don't. And we shall see what other shenanigans, if any, are uncovered.
But I think what we are seeing here is a difference between Vermont values and Massachusetts values. I hope people keep the apparent difference in values in mind when they decide if someone is trustworthy enough to do business with.
I told my brother-in-law that I have learned a simple rule in life: wherever there is a lot of money in one place there is a high risk of greed and wrongdoing. A project of this size does need scrutiny and questioning to be sure that things are what they should be and that there is nothing shady.
I lived in the shadow of Jay and Burke for a majority of my life and watched them. I have a lot of respect for Bill but frankly what I've been seeing and hearing has been both surprising and not so surprising. Surprising that a guy who I've seen as being frank, has developed and used one of the slickest and most well-oiled PR machines, and has overall a great relationship with customers "all of the sudden" just "forgot" to announce a major change in financial and corporate structures to his business partners. That does not make sense to me. However, as a guy who is always optimistic and has for years successfully marketed a remote, cold, windy, icy resort as the best thing since sliced bread, I'm not at all surprised to hear that folks claim that he made personal assurances to repay these folks with a very good rate of return.
I am very disappointed with how my (original home) State has completely effed up here. As many have pointed out, the perceived "advantage" of Jay and other Vermont EB-5 projects was the "fact" that the State was "overseeing" these projects in order to protect all involved. It looks like all involved hyped that fact. Now we are learning that there is no "oversight" at all and that the State agencies are merely a PR machine and nothing more. The right response would have been to say "time out" and to ask for more information from both sides to ensure that things are fine instead of spilling ink on defending one of the parties with no concern for the investors. This will hurt future investment in Vermont, but considering what I've seen, the administration doesn't care.