This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 4, 2010 5:07 AM. The previous post in this blog was Idiot of the Week. The next post in this blog is In the early morning rain. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Local government admits mistake

Of course, it isn't Portland, whose politicians and bureaucrats invariably declare victory and move on from their recurring blunders. In this case, it's a Portland-style screwup, only smaller -- a mere $1 million.

Comments (3)

Tigard is on a roll wasting money.

They've 4 years into an Urban Renewal plan with it's first nonsense the Burnham Street eco/green/bio-swale streescape makeover that includes a new facade for the liquer store. Whoopy!
BTW- Metro threw in $3 million fed gas tax buck for the street.

The Mayor is as dopey as any. He thinks cramming all of that MAX infrastructure
on Hwy 99 will reduce congestion and leverage billions in private development.
He has the TriMet/Metro mental disease.

I saw a knee-buckling piece on Forbes.com called "Beware the Son of Subprime" about how American cities spend money and the fragile state of municipal bonds. The similarities to the housing nightmare, include bond ratings that have no basis in reality. Meanwhile, municipal pension plans are underfunded by 2 trillion, and the municipal bond market is $2.7 trillion. That leaves a total liability that equals the combined GDP of Germany and France.

Naturally, this is where Wall Street steps in to bleed everyone dry with fancy new lines of credit - that later lead to catastrophe.

Now, traditionally, municipal bonds have been seen as conservative and safe, but we are through the Looking Glass here, folks. They used to say the same thing about blue-chip companies like GM and European countries like Greece. The author, Addison Wiggin, (if that's his real name) ends with advice to avoid getting involved with municipal bonds unless you're a speculative investor and want to bet against them.

When I plunged into this economic debacle, I saw many stories about the Son of Subprime being other Wall Street loan instruments with names like Alt-A and Option Arm, so add municipal bonds to that mix. We may be remaking "My 3 Sons" here.

Portland has the type of governance you'd expect to emerge from a "teen civics project" or something such.

Nice attempt, kids, but why don't you hand the keys back to the adults now.

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