Made in Germany | Cross Border Leasing

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At the start of the new millennium many municipal authorities in Germany that were short of cash tapped into a new source of income. They sold their sewage works and subways to US investors on a temporary basis,and then leased them back. Their US business partners secured tax breaks on the base of these sham investments and passed on some of the money to the German authorities.But now this could cost the municipal authorities dearly. Most of the deals were arranged and insured by the crisis-hit insurance sector giant American International Group. Now fine print in the contracts could force the municipal authorities to take over the role of insurer. Marion Hütter goes to Nuremberg where the city authorities are trying to get out of their cross border leasing contract involving the local sewage system.

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