Processes of recovery in post-Katrina New Orleans were slowed by privatization of institutional public resources meant to help people return and rebuild. This article explores the specific relationships among private-sector corporations contracted by the government to help with recovery, market logics used in recovery to build stock portfolios of recovery companies, the circulation of affect as a resource for profit, and the growth of nongovernmental and charity organizations that ended up doing the work that government contractors failed to do. Responding to growing cries for private-sector market solutions to entrenched inequality and need in the United States, this article offers insights on another way that poverty is created and sustained. Nearly six years after the disaster of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, many residents are still trying to recover, while others have been permanently damaged not by the storm or floods but by the prolonged and ineffective arrangements of recovery aid, suggesting that calls for privatization of public-sector institutions should be met with skepticism.

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