Thursday, November 11, 2010

At Least They Didn't Call It a Promise

. . . or the acronym would be too revealing. California is launching $14 billion in bond sales called "revenue anticipation notes," supposedly funded by future revenues from the businesses now fleeing the Golden State. Calling the bonds "California Revenue Anticipation Promises" seems more appropriate. From the LA Times:

The budget deal of Oct. 8 already looks out of date: The state’s chief fiscal analyst on Wednesday estimated that Sacramento will have to plug a total of $25.4 billion in deficits by mid-2012.

That may make some bond investors nervous, but many have gotten used to scary fiscal headlines about California for the last decade. The recurring budget mess hasn’t affected the state’s ability to make interest or principal payments on its debt, and Treasurer Bill Lockyer has repeatedly reminded Wall Street that the state Constitution mandates that bond investors must be paid.

(The same can’t be said for vendors and other creditors who once again this year were stiffed by the state until a budget was in hand, 100 days late.)

I am amazed that credit rating agencies have given the bonds their highest ratings, when the link in the article points out that the budget deal is already coming unraveled.

KT has more here on the last progressive who will hold high office, Jerry Brown.

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