Infrastructure Ideas

Everyone complains about government. Why?

Take roads, for example. They’re either full of potholes or under repair. And the repairs seem to come in late and over budget.

Much of this can be traced to what Adam Smith call the “agency problem.” People always look after their own money more carefully than they care for the cash of someone else. And in the case of the government, it’s always someone else’s money.

One way out of the pothole problem, is private toll roads. They tend to be well-maintained at an effective cost. Why? The private company has its own money at risk and it works like a phone company: by maintaining private ownership under local regulation. The system isn’t perfect, but we find fewer potholes in the phone system than in our roadways.

I don’t think we’ll see variable toll charges based on GPS tracking of our driving any time soon. But we could. And it could mean better roads at lower costs. That would be a good thing.


Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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By | 2014-09-03T19:46:06+00:00 June 18th, 2008|Global Market Update|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Tengdin is the Chief Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company and author of “The Global Market Update”. The audio version of each post can be heard on radio stations throughout New England every weekday. Mr. Tengdin graduated from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Arts from Trinity Divinity School, Magna Cum Laude and received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1992. Mr. Tengdin has been managing investment portfolios for over 30 years, working for Bank of Boston, State Street Global Advisors, Citibank – Tunisia, and Banknorth Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Tengdin has emphasized helping clients manage their financial risks in difficult environments where they can profit from investing in diverse assets in diverse settings. –
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