"This should send up warning signals," said City Councilman Patrick Dowd, an authority board member.The Securities and Exchange Commission filings of which they spoke are examined here:
"We'll certainly look into this SEC filing," said Joanna Doven, spokeswoman for Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.
Authority officials are "evaluating" JPMorgan's role in light of what happened in Alabama, said authority spokeswoman Melissa Rubin. "We just got this information." (Trib, Mike Wereschagin)
JPMorgan Chase & Co. said U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission officials approved filing an enforcement action against it for securities law violations involving bond and swap sales for Jefferson County, Alabama. (Bloomberg, Darrell Preston)
Governments that have been misled and ripped off in bond swapping arrangements can absolutely seek redress in the judicial realm -- and can absolutely use that potentiality as real leverage -- if and only if those cities are in some way interested in taking simple steps to stand up for themselves.
According to PWSA Resolution #55 of 2009, passed yesterday by a 6-1 margin, board chairman Don Walko and executive director Michael Kenney are pre-empowered to "negotiate", "consummate", and "execute" further agreements, and to "to do or cause to be done any and all acts and things necessary or proper" to fix a mess that just cost the city $46 million worth of needed infrastructure improvements, and is likely to do more harm.
Let me be as clear as possible: there is no earthly reason anyone should believe that the very individuals who subjected us to this peril will act in the optimal interest of City of Pittsburgh taxpayers and ratepayers without total transparency and public deliberation.
I mean cameras in their faces at every juncture as they explain the many options available to us.
There is no earthly reason to trust that these individuals will do anything that might in any way discomfort their campaign contributors, the contributors of the politicians who hired or appointed them, and *the powerful go-betweens* who profit from our loss and may conceivably be found partially culpable if confronted -- not without the public leering over their shoulder.
Administration and PWSA leaders claim Resolution #55 was necessary in order to execute negotiations with "swiftness". Speed means absolutely nothing if the solution they will imperiously hand down amounts to settling for minimal, insufficient half-concessions which they will then explain are the best for which we could have hoped.
I do not believe this issue is going to swing any kind political contest. Absolutely not. I do believe this is going to bring grievous harm to the City of Pittsburgh if we do not alter our course.
Pittsburgh deserves better than to be slowly bled for profit at a rate calculated to barely keep us alive, in a vegetative state in which we cannot make basic infrastructure improvements and move forward. This city deserves to have its leaders fight back against any and all loathsome parasites. Yesterday's abhorrent action by the Water & Sewer Authority assures this will not occur. This is a very big deal.
*-UPDATE: There is some more discussion and some good links HERE.