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From the archives
September 27, 2013, 05:00 AM

Officials question county investment fund

School and city officials were scrambling the week of Sept. 27, 2008 to figure out the ripple effect of the national financial fallout and whether losses in a county investment fund would decrease local credit ratings.

There were more questions than answers at the County Investment Fund Oversight Committee meeting that week. The County Investment Fund is a pool of money from school districts, special districts and cities, managed by the county treasurer. The fund lost approximately $150 million, or approximately 5 percent of the $2.6 billion portfolio’s principal due in part to its holdings in Lehman Brothers Securities.

WaMu becomes biggest bank to fail

As the debate over a $700 billion bank bailout raged on in Washington, one of the nation’s largest banks — Washington Mutual Inc. — collapsed under the weight of its enormous bad bets on the mortgage market the week of Sept. 27, 2008.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized WaMu on Thursday of that week, and then sold the thrift’s banking assets to JPMorgan Chase & Co. for $1.9 billion.

Seattle-based WaMu, which was founded in 1889, was the largest bank to fail by far in the country’s history. Its $307 billion in assets eclipse those of Continental Illinois National Bank, which failed in 1984 with $40 billion in assets; adjusted for 2008 dollars, its assets totaled $67.7 billion. IndyMac, seized in July, had $32 billion in assets.

State budget slows local transit

The state budget was dealing local transit agencies a major blow the week of Sept. 27, 2008, cutting funding by nearly two-thirds more than what was expected earlier in the year.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the most overdue budget in the state’s history. Proposition 42, which takes gas taxes to make transportation improvements, was untouched by massive cuts, but funding to local transit agencies such as Bay Area Rapid Transit, Caltrain and SamTrans was diverted at record low levels.

Caltrain, which runs Peninsula rail service from Gilroy to San Francisco, could have received $11.8 million from the state that year. It received $3.7 million. SamTrans, which runs bus and paratransit service in San Mateo County, could have received $13.7 million but the state only allocated $4.3 million.

Superintendent recommends denying charter school plan

The San Mateo Union High School District superintendent came out against a proposal to open a technology-based school serving 800 students in sixth through eighth grades the week of Sept. 27, 2008.

Insufficient information about educational programs, finances and a location for the charter school — known as Magnolia — topped Superintendent David Miller’s concerns in a recommendation to deny the charter.

Among the educational concerns listed were the lack of a guidance program; little innovative, creative or powerful instructional strategies; no physical education standards; and unclear graduation requirements, according to the resolution. The budget was a major concern listed by the district.

From the archives highlights stories originally printed five years ago this week. It appears in the Friday edition of the Daily Journal.



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