House Speaker Michael Madigan, a decades-long constant at the Statehouse as Illinois’ pensions entered their death spiral, minimized the impact on bond investors Wednesday after federal securities regulators accused the state of misleading investors about the true calamity facing the state’s pension funds.
“It’s important to understand that the buyers of Illinois’ debt have all been paid their interest and their principal. We have not reneged on our debt payments,” Madigan told reporters when asked about this week’s damning Securities and Exchange Commission report against the state.
“So there are no victims here. Nobody’s lost any money,” Madigan said. […]
In making his statements after an appearance at an International Brotherhood of Electrical Engineers appearance, Madigan shifted blame for the problems cited by the SEC on his old nemeses.
“It’s more Rod Blagojevich and John Filan,” Madigan said, referring to the impeached ex-governor and the head of his budget office. “They got what they deserve.”
Fraud is fraud, and bond buyers could’ve received a higher interest rate had it not been for that fraud. So, yes, there were some victims.
His point about the Blagojevich administration is on point, however. The SEC pointed the finger of blame directly at them, and nobody else, for that fraud. There’s no shifting here.