SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Actually, Fahner did say he met with the bond raters

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013

* Yesterday, I told you that Civic Committee honcho Ty Fahner said some members of the Civic Committee, but not him, met with bond rating agencies to put pressure on them to lower Illinois’ credit rating

“The Civic Committee, not me, but some of the people that make up the Civic Committee… did meet with and call - in one case in person - and a couple of calls to Moody’s and Fitch and Standard & Poors, and say ‘How in the hell can you guys do this? You are an enabler to let the state continue. You keep threatening more and more and more.’”

* But after prompting from a reader, I listened to Fahner’s comments yet again. The actual quote is this…

“The Civic Committee, not me, but me and some of the people that make up the Civic Committee…”

Listen for yourself by clicking here. Fahner’s comment comes at the 47:35 mark.

It seems contradictory. “Not me, but me and…” So, maybe we need a legislative hearing to clear up this matter.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Chefjeff - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 10:49 am:

    I wonder how many of our Civic Clubbers were short Illinois bonds?

  2. - Obama's Puppy - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 10:55 am:

    It would be interesting to see if he made comments supporting Squeezy the pension python, since he was in essence lobbying for a bigger squeeze on those services that he is soooo concerned about (sarcasm added).

  3. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 10:56 am:

    It’s one thing if he was simply exercising his right to free speech, same as every other citizen, legislator and resident of this state.

    Bond raters evaluate information and opinion from multiple sources, and there is nothing wrong with expressing your opinion or sharing that information if it is what you truly believe.

    It is quite another if you are actively attempting to manipulate bond ratings in the interest of personal financial benefit.

    It would be stunning to learn it was the latter, especially since there is nothing to base such allegations upon other than specualtion and inneundo.

  4. - The Captain - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 11:07 am:

    When anarchists use sabotage as a political strategy they cause tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage and we prosecute them to the full extent of the law.

    The Civic Committee tried to sabotage the Illinois bond ratings as a political strategy and any negative influence probably caused millions of dollars worth of damage. They should be pursued and prosecuted with the same intensity we apply to purple-haired punk rockers.

    Using sabotage as a political strategy causes financial harm that the taxpayers have to bear and the rules should apply equally to all.

  5. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 11:14 am:

    ==Bond raters evaluate information and opinion from multiple sources==

    If the rating agencies are taking into account what the Civic Committee says then I have even less confidence in them than I do now. The opinion of the Civic Committee should have absolutely NO relevance in the rating agency’s determinations.

  6. - Elo Kiddies - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 11:21 am:

    Spoken communication is sometimes imprecise. Maybe what he meant was “not (just) me, but me and…”?

  7. - carbaby - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 11:35 am:

    I think he meant “not me personally” but as representing the Civic Club with others. I find that ironic, if true, because he, in fact, creates/sets the agenda for the group.

  8. - Yossarian Lives - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 11:38 am:

    I don’t think we need a legislative hearing to figure out whether Ty Fahner in particular was there or not. But I think there probably should be some sort of investigation into this attempt to influence ratings agencies to downgrade Illinois.

    Sure, it’s free speech. But Moody’s isn’t a government body subject to the Open Meetings Act. They don’t go on listening tours. I have trouble believing that if I were to call their 800 number and tell them what I think about Illinois’ finances, I’d be taken as seriously as emissaries from the Civic Committee. This idea that the ratings agencies are taking everyone’s opinions into account as they make their decisions is utter baloney. Legal or not, Fahner and/or Company should never have made the call, and the ratings houses never should have taken the call. Period, end of story.

  9. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 11:42 am:

    We are guessing no one would listen to Ty on his own, but millionaire corporate honchos who pay Moody’s et al big fees to rate their notes and bonds, etc would get a little listen. Especially in the era following the fine handiwork of Moody’s et al that led to the trashing on the world economy by rating junk housing bonds Triple A. Fine work Civic Committee!

  10. - tired of it all - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 11:42 am:

    Absent solid evidence that he has a financial stake in bond ratings, Fahner has the right to say whatever he wants to say to bond rating agencies. While it may not be criminal, it is certainly despicable.

  11. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 11:53 am:

    I agree with Rich..lets hear who said what to whom…
    This is a public matter…

  12. - Judgment Day - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 11:54 am:

    “The Civic Committee tried to sabotage the Illinois bond ratings as a political strategy and any negative influence probably caused millions of dollars worth of damage. They should be pursued and prosecuted with the same intensity we apply to purple-haired punk rockers.”

    Good luck with that.

    Actually, they (Civic Committee) have a really nice defense to their actions. They can simply present that they learned what can happen when there is no ‘citizen feedback’ to the rating agencies on credit rating activities. See 2005-2007 time period on Mortgage Backed Securities [MBS] where ridiculous AAA ratings were giving to bonded securities which looking back, wouldn’t even qualify as being hot garbage.

    They (Civic Committee) were just presenting their views on the quality of today’s credit ratings of state government(s) - Citizen input. They have that right to do so.

    IMO, this Illinois credit rating discussion is just a far more elegant version of the entire Herbalife food fight (Carl Ichan vrs. Bill Ackman).

    You seem to think they should be prosecuted. Under what provisions? Realize, you might actually be doing them a giant favor if those actions started. Right now, the Civic Committee has very limited influence within the process. They’re not ‘inside’, they’re on the outside shouting (making noise). But in a court (legal) environment (and it’s most likely to move into federal court), it’s a different ballgame. It’s going to be more about ‘facts’ and ‘discovery’ and all that other stuff which will come to light. You really want to go there?

    The real question that’s the ‘Elephant in the room’ that’s now coming forward and going to be litigated is about there being a difference in legal standing between ‘Pension’ and ‘Pension Related’ bonded indebtedness vrs. General Obligation (Non Pension) bonded indebtedness. That’s going to be a beauty.

  13. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 12:06 pm:

    Alternatively, perhaps Ty was blowing his own horn a little louder than usual and decided to take credit, so to speak, for something over which he and his cronies had no influence.

    Playing to the crowd, and all that.

    A public hearing would be a good way to clear that up.

  14. - angelo mysterioso - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 12:10 pm:

    It’s not free speech when the Civic Committee tries to influence ratings. That’s confusing liberty with license (see Blago). People can profit from a downgrading and that’s why an investigation into a correlation between the downgrading, their possible influence, and investment profits realized by individual CC members from it would be interesting. If found to be true, IMHO, that’s called racketeering.

  15. - Hyperbolic Chamber - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 12:12 pm:

    @ Yossarian -

    What’s your problem with Civic Committeers flipping through their rolodex (or the country club membership list) and calling their buddies at Moody’s, et al? As you noted, you could do the same, they just won’t listen. Does that make your situation a… Catch-22? (wink, nod).

  16. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 12:14 pm:

    Some pigs are more equal than others.

  17. - Hyperbolic Chamber - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 12:20 pm:

    Blue collars good. White collars better.

  18. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 12:24 pm:

    @Demoralized - excellent point.

    It really makes you wonder what’s going through (or not going through) the minds of these rating agencies.

    We all saw how well their ratings on mortgage backed securities, etc. worked out.

  19. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 12:28 pm:

    If you read the book “The Big Short” you get the impression that what is of most concern of the people working at the ratings agencies is doing what the big banks/hedge funds what them to do so they can be hired by them and make more money there than at the ratings agency.

  20. - Judgment Day - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 12:29 pm:

    “People can profit from a downgrading and that’s why an investigation into a correlation between the downgrading, their possible influence, and investment profits realized by individual CC members from it would be interesting. If found to be true, IMHO, that’s called racketeering.”

    Last time I checked, it’s in the area of responsibility of the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission). Go for it.

    Don’t be too surprised if they’re not real interested.

  21. - foster brooks - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 12:48 pm:

    This punches holes in madigans police powers theory.

  22. - lakecounty - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 1:06 pm:

    The Civic Committee should be ashamed of themselves for engaging in activities that hurt the taxpayers of Illinois, perhaps to the enrichment of themselves. A large majority of the Committee members represent financial related entities, so I would not want to comment on cause and effect, but the correlation seems suspect. I think the members of the Civic Committee should repay Illinois the extra interest and other costs such as insurance that their personal attention caused…. and change the name of the Committee.

  23. - Joe M - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 1:12 pm:

    I wonder why the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago has such an interest in Illinois pensions. They have done everything from trying influence the bond rating houses, and introducing legislation in the General Assembly (in April, 2011, Tom Cross publicly stated, “Along with the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago I am sponsoring Illinois House Bill 149,….”

    Is it because they fear that the alternative if these pension bills fail will be to force Illinois to go to a progressive state income tax structure to pay its financial obligations? Any other theories?

  24. - JC - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 1:17 pm:

    The Civic Committee has very limited influence (in the process)? Why do we hear anything from them then? Why is Ty’s opinion about the pension issue of any significance then? At the outset of legislative meetings on pensions, an uninformed person might have thought he was the pension fix guru–the absolute expert on how it should be handled. We sure heard his name and saw him on TV often enough. Why is he included in any meeting? Influence? No influence? He’s certainly been quieter lately. Wonder why.

  25. - Frenchie Mendoza - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 1:32 pm:

    Is it because they fear that the alternative if these pension bills fail will be to force Illinois to go to a progressive state income tax structure to pay its financial obligations? Any other theories?

    I don’t think it’s a theory. I mean, it’s what they’re doing. It’s clear as mud. They’re using a pension “fix” as a way to steer discussion away from the progressive tax. The result of the pension fix — and failure of any and all progressive tax rumbles — means they (the Civic Committee) protect their own taxes.

    Essentially, a small 1% is making money off the 99%.

    Their lobbying the ratings agencies means everybody is focused on everything *but* tax rates. Is it illegal? Probably not.

    Despicable? Yep.

    Unethical? Probably a gray area, although I’m sure most folks would understand that there’s no way to spin it as a purely ethical stance.

    It’s genius is what it is. And so far there’s no evidence from anyone — anyone — who is putting together the bits and pieces and making connections. The unions, sure — but most democratic politicians in this state would (apparently) have the unions deal with this one solo.

    Once the pension fix is in the bag, the unions are (obviously) next.

  26. - JC - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 2:18 pm:

    Frenchie is right on. Those in the pension fund system and workers who have followed this every step of the way are crystal clear on what has been going on here but the general public who only listens to sound bites on talk tv believe all the press given to the civvies via the tribbies and have seen the full page ads and billboards slanted messages (who paid for those?)
    Because they have lots of cash to spend to spin this their way, they have jumped out in front. Of course, when you talk about tax reform, everybody’s hair bristles but in the graduated tax system, MOST people in the state would get a break. Of course the big boys would pay more but then again, most of us would like to have their cash to be ABLE to pay more of it to taxes.

  27. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Jul 24, 13 @ 2:20 pm:

    The Federal Reserve, big banks and brokerage houses are just doing the bidding of the entitled class…when does the class warfare in the streets? Seriously though what can the average guy or gal do to level the playing field?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Happy Thanksgiving!
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Five unanswered questions
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Question of the day
* Caption contest!
* Crossing the line
* Moody's warns Illinois
* The Credit Union Difference
* *** UPDATED x1 - Franks responds *** Uh-oh
* Then and now
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* iPhone mini, Galaxy Marshmallow updates comments & more – Pocketnow Daily Recap
* Samsung’s new Exynos 8890 SoC tops all benchmark results on AnTuTu
* Fossil Q Founder smartwatch listed as ‘coming soon’ on the Google Store
* Verizon ad wants us to disconnect for the holidays
* Samsung wants you to gift Samsung products this Christmas
* The future is now: Transparent aluminum on your phone
* Make your truck driving dreams come true in TruckSimulation 16

* South Side Sox' SB Nation MLB Awards voting results
* Starting Pitcher Rankings: Chris Sale and Jose Quintana maintain st...
* Scouting profile: Adam Engel
* Alex Avila will try to shed limitations with White Sox
* White Sox program provides kids real chance
* Johnson solid candidate for White Sox rotation
* White Sox sign catcher Avila to one-year deal


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Durbin Backs Duckworth - Alton Daily News..
* Lawmakers skeptical Rauner, leaders will find s.....
* Letter: Gov. Rauner doesn't know how to govern .....
* Things to know: Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner face.....
* Illinois has taken few Syrians in last 5 years .....

* 3 teens killed in northern Illinois crash
* Springfield micro-lending fund gives $120K in 1st 2 months
* Project searches for pre-1860 farmhouses in Sangamon County
* Illinois community college plans to boost foreign recruiting
* Historic re-enactors gather at former French fort
* Foul play not suspected in death of southern Illinois woman
* Lawyers for Schock say documents handed over to prosecutors
* EXCHANGE: Highland art teachers exhibit works on campus
* Police make arrest in killing of Chicago 9-year-old boy
* Mascoutah burglary victim shot in 1st night at new home

* 'Pot doctors' pushing boundaries in Illinois, other states
* Burger King manager: Police erased video of Chicago shooting
* Local free community college plans may be template for U.S.
* Rauner faces challenges in move to block refugees
* Vendor Payment Program suspended due to budget impasse
* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attack
* Springfield jobless rate falls again, to 5.1 percent
* Springfield police chief sees problems with body cam law
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Number of Illinois inmates released on parole climbing

* How a big deal is changing Chicago's hotel market
* Crain's names Danielle Narcisse copy chief
* What's new at Roti? Its name and a national ambition
* State's job woes start on the factory floor
* Illinois biz community getting walloped

* Kings rally from 2-0 third-period deficit to stun Hawks in OT
* Blackhawks preternatural confidence rubs off on new players
* Joel Quenneville wants Jonathan Toews to keep his gloves on
* Activists circle City Hall with black casket to honor Laquan, Tyshawn
* CPS lags in hiring black teachers
* BGA Public Eye: Dolton voters may get shot to recall trustees
* Blackhawks rally for stunning victory with two late goals
* Aaron Schock’s lawyers voluntarily providing records sought by feds
* In wake of dashcam video, Emanuel must navigate political minefield
* White House under holiday lockdown after man jumps fence

* 1 dead, 2 wounded in Chicago shootings
* Laquan McDonald protests Saturday draw only dozens
* Teen missing nearly month from South Side returns home
* 5 hurt, including seriously injured child, in South Side crash
* Illinois schools' strengths, weaknesses exposed in statewide survey
* West Chicago man charged in cousin's murder
* Young couple who died in McHenry County crash were planning to get married
* Midlothian man charged after roommate's body found in suitcase
* Burger King manager told grand jury of gap in Laquan McDonald video
* Woman dead after Dan Ryan crash

* Bernard Schoenburg: Book on Blagojevich impeachment lets reader 'be right there'
* Andy Shaw: It's time to crack down on no-bid contracts
* 'Pot doctors' pushing boundaries in Illinois, other states
* Burger King manager: Police erased video of Chicago shooting
* Kristina Rasmussen: Relying on one another, not the government
* Charles Krauthammer: The Syrian immigration cul-de-sac
* Rob Elliott: EPA ethanol ruling affects more than energy policy
* Local free community college plans may be template for U.S.
* Rauner faces challenges in move to block refugees
* Vendor Payment Program suspended due to budget impasse

* Saturday's highlights: Finkes lead Central to consolation title
* Illini commit Davis qualifies for national meet
* MBB notebook: Groce thankful for head athletic trainer
* Thorne's injury mars solid outing vs. Iowa State
* MBB grades vs. Iowa State: Fair effort against Cyclones
* Fastener's Etc. Post Game Show 11-28-15
* No. 4 Iowa State 84, Illinois 73
* Tate: Bigwigs' latest call leaves team in tough position
* Tate: In tough spot, bigwigs opt for stable option
* Asmussen: Keeping Cubit brings stability

* Glenbard West players earn championship of their own
* Aurora crash closes Lake Street
* Montini completes perfect season
* West Chicago teen charged with fatally shooting his cousin
* Glenbard West downs Libertyville for 7A title

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Durbin Backs Duckworth - Alton Daily News...
* Durbin Calls on Gov. Rauner to Meet With S......
* Durbin Statement on Pfizer-Allergan Invers......

* Opinion: Sen. Kirk must stand with crimina......

* Chinese Take Out
* "Mexican Food, Opening Soon"
* Tony at the Red Line Tap.
* The cover-up of the killing of Laquan McDonald.
* Keeping retirement weird. Justice is the public face of love.
* RLC Roundup: Drivers Aim Lawsuit At Tinley Park Red Light Cameras
* Dueling pair of children being used to fight for attention of Chicago, world
* No Positive Loitering Tonight
* Fairness.
* It brings out the rats.

* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

    Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller