Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What the water gave me

One of those über boring stories that most folks gloss over. Trib: Pittsburgh Water Authority to Borrow $80 million. Remarkably that's the only coverage I see as yet of one of the bigger municipal finance stories in months.

Yet hidden in there is a piece of municipal finance history as the PWSA looks to finally be refinancing a big chunk of its variable rate bond that has been a consistent source of debate (for a few of us) and certainly cost.

Be sure of one thing... in the next year all sorts of things will make all sorts of headlines in city government, but the biggest, and most important, battles of all will be (has already been?) over control of the multi-billion dollar investments soon to be required for water and sewer infrastructure. Where will those decisions be made? Mostly at public water and sewer authorities.  So the battle over governance of the PWSA and Alcosan are far bigger things not only in the sheer $$$ that will be spent, but even more importantly how it all will be spent. We just won't be paying all that much attention.

Remember the consternation over the financial bond deal JP Morgan once set up for PWSA?  Did anyone understand it then and does anyone really know who wound up as the biggest financial winners in the end?  Some say economists are waont to make up numbers, the real accounting for this borders on the metaphysical. From the yunzer wayback machine:


Anonymous engelr said...

some say economists are *wont* to make up ...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 4:26:00 PM  
Blogger joe said...

just stumbled upon an old thesis on the Archive titled "The rebuilding, betterment, and extensions of the South Pittsburg waterworks" (1909).

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger Vannevar said...

I didn't get this headline until Wednesday 11/20 1830-ish when WYEP played that song by Florence and the Machine - very, very nice! My compliments, as always, Sir.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 8:03:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...


but apologies to Ms. Welch

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 8:07:00 PM  

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