Lake County’s Investments…..nothing serious – it’s only money

We attended a Commissioners’ meeting this week, and before the meeting they held a another meeting to discuss Lake County’s financial performance with their cash investments.  Here is the presentation provided to the financial committee (3 Commissioners and Treasurer Lorraine Fende).  lake county ohio presentation

Most of the presentation can be a bit confusing, but the page dealing with the portfolio review is fairly understandable.

As of 12/31//18, Lake County had $128,818,000 invested in rather low risk investments. The breakdown by maturity dates are as follows:

0-1 year        $37,600,000
1-2 years      $39,412,000
2-3 years      $24,078,000
3-4 years      $22,365,000
4-5 years      $  5,363,000

The average maturity period is 1.95 years, and the average yield is 2.02%.  The velocity of money never ceases to amaze me.  These investments brought in over $4.4 million to the County coffers.  It is another demonstration why it is virtually impossible for the top 1% to run out of money.

The total cash reserves from 1-5 years is 91,218,000!  That means the County is not counting on that money for its daily operations.  It make me wonder how much money does the County actually need in order to run their operations.  For the sake of argument, what if the Commissioners decided to return money to the taxpayers — not the corporations, just the air breathers.  If $50,000,000 were returned to the ~237,000 people living in Lake County, every man, women, and child would receive a bonus of $210.97 [$50,000,000 / 237,000]………Before you start running to the bank…..it will never happen. Once politicians, “non-profits” and the bureaucrats see the money flowing in, their thoughts are all about spending not returning money to the taxpayers.

We asked the Lake County Treasurer Lorraine Fende to confirm the numbers we heard in the meeting.  Here is her response:

“The figures that I talked about yesterday were comparing investment income for 2018 vs 2017.  The total for 2018 was almost $4.4 million compared to almost $2.1 million in 2017.  I watch interest rates very closely so when they change I move money around so that I can maximize the county’s investment income.  During 2018, I periodically updated, to the commissioners, the projected revenue for interest income because it was increasing throughout the year.

When I give my projection for the following year it is only an estimate because I am asked for the figure more than a year in advance.  I will continue to update the commissioners throughout 2019 when the investment income figures become available.”

Lake County Treasurer
105 Main St.
Painesville, Ohio   44077
(440) 350-2516
Fax: (440) 350-2623

(LFC Comment: We thanked Ms. Fende for her reply and said “nice work”.  It will be interesting to hear if the Finance Director or the Commissioners have any comments on Ms. Fende’s response.  Stay tuned, there may be more to the story)



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