Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Orange County Kool-Aid

Bloomberg reported today that Orange County Treasurer's office is once again in the news admitting that perhaps more than twenty percent of assets are in SIVs facing imminent downgrades. Certainly most will remember the spectacular implosion of Robert Citron's derivative bets, structured and advised by none other than, yes, Merrill Lynch, in a vain and most-unwise attempt to reach for yield.

But this recent revelation is gallingly ironic, (not to mention rather hypocritical) for on June 1st 2007, I shared what I thought (unknowingly) at the time was Most Ironic Quote Of The Day when, County Treasurer Christopher Street chided those caught with Old-Maid-like toxic CDO tranches by saying:
...It's grossly inappropriate to take this level of risk. Fund managers wanted the high yield, so Wall Street sold it to them. The beauty of Wall Street is they put lipstick on a pig....
Ouch! As Freddy Mercury was known to sing: Another One Bites the Dust!. If your are interested in managing the albeit soon-to-be-smaller cash assets of a large US County in a pleasant though earthquake-ridden locale, please send your current CV with a cover-letter explaining how you plan to avoid the next cash-management fad-du-jour to:
Orange County Board of Supervisors
Hall of Administration
333 W. Santa Ana Blvd.
Santa Ana, CA 92701
ATTN - Treasurer Vacancy

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