Monday, July 7, 2008

We're drowning

Thanks to the Post-Gazette for an in-depth article on the state of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority's finances. The authority has been indulging in high-stakes swap contracts that I don't fully understand but seem born out of the recent sub-prime mortgage extravaganza and now crisis.

"Rating agency Standard & Poor's found that the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority's swaps presented low to moderate risk, with catastrophic results likely only if the credit ratings of JPMorgan Chase and Merrill Lynch plunge. "

In the recent and on-going crisis, I don't find the likelihood of any major bank plunging to be especially unlikely. And what about the slightly less than catastrophic results?

Time to set out the rain barrel. Luckily, it's Pittsburgh so we get lots of rain. For now, I'll just be thankful that the already exorbitant water and sewer rates in the city haven't climbed further and go do some laundry.


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