Wonky Muse
Wonky Muse

April 13, 2005

High Rollers

"And it demonstrates what Americans are beginning to see: Republicans cannot be trusted with your money." -- Howard Dean

Republicans continue to prove Howard Dean right. Left to their own devices, they drive up the deficit and give away much needed revenue via tax cuts to the rich.

Now they're speculating in the unregulated rare coins market [emphasis mine]:

Since 1998, Ohio has invested millions of dollars in the unregulated world of rare coins, buying nickels, dimes, and pennies.

Controlling the money for the state? Prominent local Republican and coin dealer Tom Noe, whose firm made more than $1 million off the deal last year alone.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation has continued to be the sole investor in Mr. Noe's Capital Coin funds despite strong concerns raised by an auditor with the bureau about possible conflicts of interest and whether the state's millions were adequately protected.And the state has maintained its stake in Capital Coin despite documented problems:

Two coins worth roughly $300,000 were lost in the mail in 2003.

The firm has written off $850,000 in debt over the last three years to cover a failed business relationship.

In March, 1998, the bureau's oversight commission approved a list of 28 managers for the program, including Capital Coin, and by August, it had received its first $25 million. Only four other managers got as much or more. The bureau later granted Capital Coin an additional $25 million, the bureau's self-imposed cap. Only two other fund managers in the emerging-manager program have as much.

Republicans sure have a funny definition of what's safe and secure. The coins market is highly speculative and risky with not much room for liquidity.

Even if the fund is $18 billion in size, they're playing with $50 million of public funds to favor political benefactors.

I wonder if George W. Bush will use Ohio as a blueprint for his Social Security privatization plan.

posted at 1:58 PM by Wonky Muse

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"Sapere Aude."
(Dare to Know)
-- Epistularum Liber Primus, Horace

Wonk (noun): def. A political nerd. Know spelled backwards.

Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.


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