Has O.C. Treasurer/Tax Collector Chriss Street blown another $62 million?

Poor Matt/Jubal Cunningham.  He just can’t stop shilling for his Republican pals.  He posted an article this week over at the Red-faced County blog, with the headline, “OC Investment Pool Snags Top 10 Rating,” complete with a picture of O.C. Treasurer/Tax Collector Chriss Street smiling with a word balloon emblazoned with “Ha!” Street was also quoted saying that “The taxpayers have a great investment team that takes pride in their research and investment process.”

Hold your horses Matt/Jubal, the O.C. Register is reporting that your pal Street, blew $62 million on something called “Whistlejacket,” which “is a structured investment vehicle, or SIV, a package of assets such as auto loans, credit card receivables and mortgages. Unlike stocks or bonds, many of those assets aren’t widely traded, so they cannot be accurately valued by outsiders.”

The Register also reported that the SIV market began collapsing in the summer of 2007, and sure enough Street put all that money into “Whistlejacket” in 2007.

And it gets worse. “Street held $837 million in SIVs when the market collapsed – nearly three times what he inherited from former Treasurer John Moorlach in December 2006.”

Street also “sold a $75 million investment in Sigma Finance for 91.5 cents on the dollar last September – just weeks before Sigma failed.”

Now that the County is laying off workers, all of this wasted money sure seems significant, even though it is just a small piece of the $6 billion investment portfolio that Street manages.  Does Street really deserve to be praised?  I don’t think so, but try convincing Matt/Jubal of that.

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