An Open Letter to the Local Media on Why They Should Foot the Bill for a $150 Report, and NOT Me
[Note: The following is an email I sent today to editors and reporters at three local media outlets: Tribune, New Times, and Cal Coast News]
I am contacting all of you kind, generous, local media people to, well, ask you for a quick, fun, interesting, and, yes, kinda hilarious favor.
I'm hoping that one of you will buy a $150 report.
Here's the dealio:
As I've shown you over the past few weeks, by cc'ing all of you on a couple of my recent emails, that I also published on my blog, first at this link:
... and then a follow-up at this link:
... the bond rating agency, S&P Global Ratings, was recently forced to "suspend" its "BBB-" rating that they placed on the "Los Osos Community Services District Wastewater Assessment District... 2002 limited obligation improvement bonds," due to "lack of information."
That story is mind-blowingly newsworthy, on many levels, but here's the catch: If you go to the source, at this link:
... that I used in my recent emails to expose that great local story, you'll see that the only thing S&P Global Ratings provides to announce their action on those bonds, is just a quick, one paragraph press release. However, the full 3-page report that (hopefully) explains exactly why S&P was forced to "suspended" its "BBB-" rating on the Los Osos CSD's bonds -- with all the juicy details (I'm assuming) -- costs $150-bucks to purchase.
And that's the point of this email: Me asking one of you fine, local media outlets to, please, fit the bill for a copy of that 3-page report, and then do a story on it, and, if you legally can, post the report on your web site (there might be some sort of "Fair Use" argument there that would allow you to post it), and then that, in turn, would allow me to continue my on-going reporting on this super-important story ('cause, I really don't want to shell out the $150-bucks, and I'm very curious to see what that report says).
Like I say, that report is, almost certainly, extremely newsworthy for not only the people of Los Osos, but also to the people of SLO County, and California, and, frankly, all of the United States, and that's why I think it should be a local media business that foots the bill for that report (as opposed to, you know, little ol' me. I mean, do I look like a have New Times-type money? ; -)
[By the way, speaking of businesses and money: Are we all in the wrong business, or what? I mean, $150 bucks for a copy of a three page report? Good lord. If I were to sell copies of my reports at $50-bucks/page, I'd be a thousandaire by now.
And, as long as we're having some fun here, I also want to quickly point out an interesting, and funny, fact: Notice how the "suspended" rating is... uh, was?... "BBB-".
For municipal bonds -- that were issued by a local municipality -- I find that rating hilarious.
Notice how they are not "AAA" rated bonds.
Not even "BBB."
But, "BBB"-friggin-"minus"... the absolute lowest "investment grade" bond rating S&P offers.
And, to continue the hilarity, if you want to get a fun sense of what a "B" bond rating means, especially when it comes to things like over-the-top shady Los Osos CSD, I highly recommend (re)watching the excellent movie, The Big Short, and pay close attention to what "Margot Robbie in a bubble bath" has to say about B-rated bonds. HIGHlarious.]
So, yeah, a detailed report -- that, hopefully, shows exactly why S&P was recently forced to suspend their "BBB-" rating for the nearly $18 million worth of bonds sold by the Los Osos CSD in 2002 to partially fund their now-failed "mid town" sewer-"park" disaster -- a disastrous non-"project," that will never exist, yet "more than 4,000" Los Osos property owners are now stuck funding on their property taxes until the year 2033/34, as I first exposed at this link:
... really sounds like it could be worth the $150 investment for the local media.
The story is spectacular.
Again, just a quick favor: If one (or all) of you, would please purchase a copy of that report, and post it on your web site(s), I would really appreciate it, and, I'm sure that the people that invested in the bonds would also VERY much appreciate it.
If you have any questions, please just ask.
Oh, and P.S: As usual, this email posted to my blog, SewerWatch, at this link:
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