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County Retains Triple-A Bond Rating

Top three bond rating agencies praise county's fiscal management.

Baltimore County has maintained it's coveted triple-A bond rating from the top three bond rating agencies in the country.

The rating, announced Monday, continues the county's status as one of the few to get such a rating from Fitch, Moody's and Standard and Poor's. Only about 1 percent of all counties in the United States earn the so-called "triple-triple" rating.

The rating means that the county pays a lower rate of interest to bond holders than it would it the ratings were lower, thus saving county taxpayers money.

All three agencies praised the county for it's strong fiscal management, according to a statement released by the county.

"These ratings are confirmation that the County's commitment to innovation, consolidation, and efficiency are making a real difference in the day-to-day operation of county government," said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, in a statement released by the county Monday.

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DJ Groove June 13, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Tim - looks like to you, any point is (by default) invalid if it doesn't blame republicans, free market, or deregulation. If you can, please provide your thoughts on exactly which deregulations have caused the recent housing market collapse? Thank you.
Tim June 13, 2012 at 02:10 PM
DJ: Graham-Leach opened the barn doors completely. Additionally, free markets in America are not actually free. It's a misnomer that only the ignorant believe. The tax system is skewed towards the largest corporations, just like the wealthiest Americans. A system set up by the same Republicans (along with Dems, there is blame for everyone) helped set up over the past 30 years. One thing the parties both share is greed. The system isn't remotely fair to the middle to upper middle class, or actual small businesses (who pay the bulk of taxes, relative to their income). Now, i'm not an economist, but my understanding is that the housing market collapsed because of the repeal of the Graham-Leach act I've already mentioned. It allowed for way, way less fiscal accountability from banks, and allowed them to literally blow up to "Too big to fail" status. What specifically caused the was essentially a subprime mortgage fiasco. Banks started giving loans of to anyone and everyone irregardless of risk. These “fiscally responsible, free market” banks, then bundled these high-risk mortgages with legitimate low risk ones and then sold them, and/or sold derivatives off of them. When the high risk portion of these securities began defaulting on their mortgages, it become a cataclysmic snowball.
Tim June 13, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Part 2: Additionally there was derivative trading that was going on over these securities. Financial institutions were basically gambling on whether or not securities would be paid or not. This couldn’t have happened under Glass-Steagall, which governed these things from 1933 on until Graham-Leach. Additionally, the sad fact is, the top 10 banks today hold a HIGHER percentage of banking wealth in this country then before the market collapse of 2007 which mandated TARP to begin with. “To Big to Fail” is alive and worse than before. Our government has done nothing, I repeat, nothing to prevent something like this from happening again. Glass-Steagall should still be in place today. This country's leadership has learned exactly nothing from this economic crisis - or they've learned, but refuse to actually do anything about it. Because you know, as Gordon Gekko said in Wall Street "Greed is good".
DJ Groove June 13, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Tim, do you think the following sparked the loan underwriting between 1995-2005 or not: Fannie/Freddie guaranteed any loan, the banks being pushed to significantly lower the qualifying criterea (the gov-t's push towards affordable housing dream agenda) ? Do you honestly think the banks would be taking on such enormous responsibility (no job, no income, no savings - you still get a loan approval) if the Fed didn't guarantee it? Wouldn't you, for example, played the roulette recklessly if you knew all your losses are covered at the end of the day?.......
Tim June 13, 2012 at 02:26 PM
DJ: You know what? Worded this way, you make your point better. Fannie/Freddie certainly contributed to the collapse, however yes - I do think this still happens without Fannie/Freddie - although not to the severity it has. Of course there was political factors involved with this, of course, especially with the whole "owning a home is the American Dream". This includes Clinton (i.e. not a Republican) who's administration really pushed for this - as well as GWB after him. I was going to mention the political aspect in the previous messages, but as you see, once I get writing it's tough to stop sometimes. I often get the Tolstoy taunt from this website. The roulette example is funny though: We both know the rules that apply to you and I don't apply to the government or those who directly corrupt it. This again, is not partisan in nature.

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