Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Coins are lousy investment - Part II

Others are starting to agree with us that the BWC's infamous coin investments are bad, even without the Noe and missing coins scandal. From the Dispatch:
But much of those assets were in coin inventory, and critics say there’s no way to verify whether the coins are worth what was reported.

Bureau officials have said they expect to get a full return on the state’s investment, as long as the process isn’t rushed into "a fire sale."

[. . . ]

"If (the investment) is as lucrative as they say it is, then we wouldn’t expect the need for a discount to sell it," said J. Richard Dietrich, chairman of the accounting department at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.
And Petro appears to be scared shitless by the audit and liquidation process that's ahead now that Petro/Conrad have decided to cut bait on the coins.
Petro was asked to recommend someone to oversee that process, and he said he is considering several firms and individuals.
Petro claims he wants to find someone "scrupulously independent" to do this, but that could easily be done in one day. The fact that this search for a liquidator is being strung out over several days means that there must be a lot of negotiating going on behind the scenes over exactly what the liquidator can and can't do.

The most potentially troubling part of the Dispatch story was a reference to the leader of the Ohio Senate:
Senate President Bill M. Harris, R-Ashland, said yesterday that Senate Republicans are drafting legislation related to state investing issues, but he declined to elaborate.
That's not a good sign. The Ohio legislature, as shown by how they partially succeeded in screwing up the public employee pension funds last year, would love to politicize investments even more, not less. These are the same guys who tried to legislatively force the pension funds into using only Ohio brokers, bankers and money managers. In other words, more thiefs and con men like Noe.

There are a lot of Republicans who think that the Noe investment deal was great. The only objection they have is that Noe got caught.


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