September 28, 2022
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Ventura monitoring funds

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It may take a decade for Ventura city officials to learn the fate of some $10 million in investments made in now bankrupt Lehman Brothers Holdings and Washington Mutual.
The nation’s banking meltdown’s effect on Ventura’s $160 million investment portfolio could – at worst – delay some capital improvement projects, Kay Mirabelli, city treasury manager, told the Business Times. “It may take 10 years for this to go through the bankruptcy courts,” Mirabelli said. “We’re following it though the courts. We are working with a statewide group of about 30 other agencies affected by this.”

Mirabelli said Ventura also is working with the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.

Meanwhile, Mirabelli said, city officials are monitoring $28 million in notes with JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, but apparently they are not affected now. “I want to make it very clear that Ventura did nothing outside the government code in making these investments,” Mirabelli said. “They were all highly rated.”

She said all of the city’s investments in its current portfolio are “rated A or better.” Mirabelli said. She said some of them may yield better than an anticipated 4 percent. For now, she said, Lehman and WaMu earnings losses for Ventura could reach more than $600,000, which includes some $230,000 that was earmarked for municipal operating costs. The city has two five-year $5 million corporate notes with Lehman and WaMu.