Here's a new wrinkle in the slowly unfolding saga around Gov. Bill Richardson and CDR, a financial advisory firm hired by the state that just happened to be a major Richardson campaign donor.
A couple of weeks ago, we asked
, "Did the labyrinthine financial deals the state entered under [Richardson's] watch with companies like CDR actually save taxpayers money
? Or is this more of the alchemy that brought down Wall Street last fall?"
Today, Barry Massey of the Associated Press reports
that the state is on the hook for $16 million in collateral, because somebody at the New Mexico Finance Authority failed to properly scrutinize a complex bond deal negotiated with CDR.
"The collateral calls represent more than a financial inconvenience for the state; they mean fewer dollars available for highway construction projects
," Massey writes.
How did this happen? The experts shrug.
"We don't think anybody at the Finance Authority internally could have had the depth and breadth of experience to make this assessment at that time
," the Finance Authority's chief financial officer tells Massey. "The issue in my mind is there may have been [outside contractors] that also had a duty to inform us ... [T]his would have been something CDR, as a swap adviser, should have been qualified to address and should have addressed."