One piece of speculation that I keep hearing suggests that the administration is dragging its feet (and, potentially, sabotaging the efforts of other groups) to aggravate the situation and ensure that the damage to the city is seen as irreversible. There can be little doubt that the desperation of everybody whose life or investments are tied to New Orleans increases on a daily basis, as things continue to deteriorate.
At this moment, property owners are probably willing to accept pennies on the dollar for land that's totally submerged. A few billion dollars from now, however, that land could be some of the most secure waterfront property in America.
Between now and then, some shrewd predators might very well be going around and collecting deeds from desperate homeowners and landlords at massive discounts, looking forward to turning the historic city into some kind of seaside resort or upper-crust enclave once the taxpayer-funded rebuilding is finally complete . . .