In Los Angeles County, cities are buying federal stimulus funds from each other at deep discounts, turning what was supposed to be a targeted infusion of cash into a huge auction.
It all started when the county's Metropolitan Transportation Agency decided to hand out $44 million from the federal stimulus package in the form of $500,000 transportation grants to each of the county's 88 cities. But some cities didn't have any shovel-ready transportation projects. So with MTA's blessing, they're selling the grants to the highest bidder:
La Habra Heights, a city of 6,000, has sold its $500,000 in federal funds to the city of Westlake Village for $310,000 cash. Irwindale, population 1,500, also sold its $500,000 to Westlake Village, for $325,000 cash....MORE
HT: Marginal Revolution, where a commenter said:
$500k for only $310k. At long last, empirical evidence for the multiplier.