Global Auction of Public Assets: Public sector alternatives to the infrastructure market & Public Private Partnerships by Dexter Whitfield

A new study exposes the impact of the emerging global infrastructure market and widening use of Public Private Partnerships, which is fuelling a new era of public asset sales. Yet over US$500bn of PPP projects have failed, most have little democratic control or transparency. They are costly, poor value and lack innovation. Ultimately, they are entirely financed by government and/or user charges. This is the first critical global analysis examines PPP programmes in the UK, France, Ireland, Germany, the US, Canada, Russia, Australia, China, India, Brazil and South Africa.

This book shows how public infrastructure in the 21st century is confronted with new challenges – adapting to climate change, meeting the economic, energy, water, transportation and social infrastructure needs of megacities in Asia, megaregions in North America and European city regions. It explains why public infrastructure has a vital role in economic development, increases productivity, generates employment and improves community well-being.

Yet, globally, nearly 1,000 PPP and privatisation projects, valued at over US$500bn, have been terminated or radically reduced. Most PPP projects have little or no democratic control or transparency, are costly, poor value, lack innovation and flexibility, reduce employment and exaggerate risk transfer. A secondary market has emerged in which schools, hospitals and roads are traded like commodities. Global Auction of Public Assets demonstrates why new public investment priorities are urgently required and sets out ways to build new alliances and strategic interventions.