Fixing US economy’s health is a boon for DC region

Charleston Gazette – Whether it’s a buildup of Civil War troops, Depression-era bureaucrats or defense contractors after Sept. 11, the region has prospered in times of crisis. Today, the financial meltdown is delivering a jolt of its own.

Lawyers, lobbyists and public relations experts — many of whom live and work in Virginia and Maryland suburbs — are benefiting as companies from Wall Street to Motor City seek a piece of Washington’s $700 billion financial bailout, and try to influence any regulatory strings attached. Business is also percolating as President-elect Barack Obama prepares an economic stimulus package comprised of infrastructure spending and tax breaks that could exceed $800 billion.

"There will be a mad rush to have influence on where that money should go,” said David Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of The Carlyle Group, the Washington-based private-equity firm whose partners include former high-ranking U.S. and foreign government officials. Far from struggling, the Washington region could be on the verge of "boom times,” Rubenstein said.

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