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The White House becomes Wall St.’s ‘dating service’

Yahoo Finance
Yahoo Finance

The White House wants to increase investment in rural America and it's asking large investors to help its cause. The White House Rural Council launched a $10 billion fund Thursday that promotes rural economic development in projects such as wastewater systems, broadband expansion efforts, local and regional food systems and infrastructure development.

"This is a government-backed bank that private investors can add to," explains Yahoo Finance's Mike Santoli in the video above. "The government is the seed investor."

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack described the fund as "the eHarmony.com of infrastructure and business investment. It is a new way for us to do business. This is us connecting. We're going to be able to do more projects and create more opportunities as a result," according to The New York Times.

Santoli says the Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund could be appealing to pension funds, endowments, foundations and Wall Street firms who are looking for yield.

"Every other asset class is played out," he says. "There are not many bargains out there. Farmland has been a booming investment."

CoBank, a national cooperative bank serving rural America and a member of the Farm Credit System, is the fund's anchor investor, according to the White House. Capitol Peak Asset Management will oversee the new fund and work to recruit more investors.

Government agencies including the USDA will help to identify rural projects in need of financing, says the White House.

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