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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Alameda County scores highest possible credit ratings

ALAMEDA COUNTY | Global credit rating behemoths Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service boosted Alameda County to the highest possible municipal bond score Monday.

Fitch upgraded Alameda County to “AAA,” while Moody’s posted an “Aaa” rating. 

Alameda County’s consistent operating surpluses and overall strong local economy, along with “management’s progressive actions to address its long-term liabilities” earned it the top rating.

Both credit rating services labeled the county’s finances as stable.

A municipality’s sterling credit allows it to borrow at lower interest rates, therefore saving taxpayers’ money.  

Since the end of the Great Recession, Alameda County has balanced its budget, sometimes featuring staggeringly high deficits, without wholesale cuts to staff or county safety net services.

Reductions to the county’s debt were also cited by the credit rating services, including the county’s move to designate increases in reserves to help pay down pension liabilities. 

The Alameda Health System’s improved bottom line and beneficial status of the county’s nearly $200 million loan to the health provider also impressed the rating services.

2 comments :

By MW:

Most likely Alameda County put a lot of effort into PR and giving the rating agencies a big snow job, and including since the County's financial situation is worse than a huge disaster, and although some of the details on that right now are hidden, so might not be well known for a few more years.

AC's departments are many times better at PR and feeding the gullible a lot of lies than at actually serving the public and being even slightly competent, and usually the rating agencies do not look deep, but instead merely look at the paperwork presented to them by the entity they are supposed to be examining.

And that is one of the reason that such big scam operations as the one that Bernard Madoff was running for decades often get away with it for so long.

I used to have fairly frequent conversations with a woman who had for decades worked for various accounting and auditing firms, and she told me as far as organizations being able to get away with fraud, and sometimes even huge massive fraud, and often for decades, and while their accounting and auditing firms year after year give them a clean bill of health, she told me the outside and "independent" examiners generally do not do much besides look at the financial statements that are presented to them by the organization they are checking, auditing, and examining. In other words, virtually any skillful liar can get away with virtually any accounting fraud as long as the paperwork is neat and impressive.

In fact, it is often even many times worse than the impression I have already given. In other words the whole thing is often just a big phony show in which if you pay the outside and "independent" auditor a sufficiently large fee, it will then usually give your organization a clean bill of health no matter how extremely riddled it is with fraud, and sometimes even blatant, flagrant, and obvious fraud.

By MW:

Virtually any big sleazy windbag operation with sophisticated PR and a cooperating firm to "audit" its financial statements can "prove" that it is "wonderful," "honest," and "solvent."

For instance until he was finally exposed, and after a few decades of engaging in non-stop scams, embezzlement, money laundering, and Ponzi schemes, virtually all of the "experts," and including the lawyers and accountants at the SEC, all "knew" that Bernard Madoff was wonderful, honest, and of the very highest integrity.

Until the Jonestown Massacre occurred, Willie Brown and SF mayor George Moscone definitely "knew," and in fact beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Jim Jones was one of the very finest people of all time.

Ten or twenty years ago the San Diego area was infested by a character named J. David Dominelli, and who had most of the residents and virtually all of the mainstream media snowed into believing that he was one of the very finest and most charitable people who had ever lived. (In other words, Dominellit contributed to charity a portion of the money he embezzled thru his various Ponzi schemes, and therefore the local reporters never stopped writing gushing articles about him. However eventually he was exposed for the scumbag that he was, and therefore the "sophisticated" citizens of San Diego were forced to admit that they had been conned yet again.)

And then about twenty years ago or so there was the San Diego lawyer who received an award for being San Diego's lawyer of the year, but then not that much later he was one of the very most central characters in a then breaking scandal that exposed the fact that for many of SD's lawyers and judges fixing cases in exchange for under the table bribes was the standard way of doing business.

But as extremely corrupt as the San Diego area is, the Bay area, and including Alameda County, is even many times more corrupt.

NOTE: I started to pay a lot more attention to San Diego area corruption as a result of the fact that one of the very most interesting San Diego area characters and con men, specifically organized crime kingpin M. L. "Larry The Liar -Switzerland & Arlington National Cemetery" Lawrence: one, started also spending a lot of time hanging around San Francisco; two, became extremely good friends with Willie Brown, John Burton, Dianne Feinstein, the Aliotos, and Walter Shorenstein, etc; and three, also became the primary owner of one of SF's largest office buildings, a building that, and due to his political connections, he was able to use as a front for money laundering.

In fact, SF's Feinstein was the primary driving force in the US Senate in arranging for Lawrence to be confirmed as the US Ambassador to Switzerland, and including since a lot of people, and even from the very beginning, considered Lawrence to be a world class sleazeball.

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