Saturday, July 16, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Treasurer!!

I've been talking about municipal bonds to anyone who would listen for several years. I think using Muni bonds could be a way of saving our economy, if they are used properly, and sold to the right people (meaning everyone) at the right price (meaning what people can actually afford). Right now, if our state (or a city or county) needs money for a project, they go where everyone else goes, which is to Wall Street. They sell the bonds, pay the interest, and Wall Street gets rich. Sure, the government gets the money, and the projects get done. But only Wall Street gets rich from the interest. As a progressive, I don't like that. I want everyone to be able to get those returns, which is impossible if the State Treasurer only goes to Wall Street.

Jim listened! I was looking at the website this morning, and saw this:

Here's the letter on the front page of the Buy Washington Bonds website:


Thank you for visiting Buy Washington Bonds.

Washington periodically issues bonds to finance investments in our schools, roads, bridges, housing, parks, and other crucial infrastructure projects.

As Treasurer, I am responsible for managing all of the State’s bond sales. I’m pleased to announce that on July 15 and 18, 2011, Washington bonds will be available to state retail investors in advance of other investors. On this website, you will learn more about these bonds and how to purchase them.

We expect to periodically have a portion of future State bond sales offered to retail investors and will update this website for those sales.


James L McIntire, Washington State Treasurer

He's been talking about getting these ads out into the Washington media for a while, but this is the first time I've actually seen one. My wife also heard an ad on NPR about this.

He's offering the bonds to the retail public in Washington State for a few days before he goes to Wall Street. Now the biggest hurdle is the denomination, which is $5,000 at minimum. Bonds are "priced" at $100, but bundled at $5,000 to help the banks ensure that they don't drown in work because thousands of people want to buy $100 worth instead of just a few people wanting to buy $5K worth. The only way to change that is to have Congress mandate that the denomination of all Municipal Bonds be set at $100. Which the banks would fight against, like everything else.

But I want to thank our Washington State Treasurer for putting out these ads!! It's a great start!

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