Imagine this. You have been appointed Treasurer of an American state, a heavily populated one. One of your most important duties is looking after the state’s money.
Some of that money must be invested to achieve not only safety but growth. It’s an awesome responsibility. Invest the state’s money in the wrong vehicle, and you could lose some or all of the investment.
States have guidelines and rules where and how such money can be invested. The state legislature normally sets the guidelines. Maybe they decide the treasurer can only place the money in historically safe and highly rated funds. They might decide the treasurer can only invest domestically or internationally with trusted allies. These rules are made so the treasurers don’t invest in blood diamonds or the Russian Mafia fund.
Most state treasurers take this charge very seriously. Such it is with Josh Mandel, the treasurer for the state of Ohio.
By all accounts Mandel has done a pretty good job for the state. This state has earned the prestigious AAA credit rating on Ohio’s multibillion-dollar STAR investment fund. They have also achieved an upgrade in rating on their Enterprise Bond Fund. The first in a decade.
There’s only one problem. Josh Mandel is one of those dang “Jews.” And do you know what that “Jew” has been doing? He’s been investing the state of Ohio’s money in Israel Bonds!
He purchased $42 million of Israel Bonds just a few months ago. That brings Ohio’s total holding of Israel bonds to $80 million.
Some are not so pleased with his purchases. Can you guess who they might be? If you guessed radical pro-Arab Palestinian groups, you win the prize. Extra credit if you also guessed skinhead white supremacist groups.
The Palestinian groups sent a letter to the state explaining how evil Israel is and that it is a human rights violator. The groups called Israel an Apartheid state that “humiliates Palestinian men, women and children … shames the state of Ohio and poorly reflects upon the character of its citizens.”
So investing in Israel has all of a sudden become a pox on the citizens of Ohio, despite the fact that the state has been investing in Israel bonds since 1993.
Oh, and did I forget to mention that Israel bonds have yields 3 to 4 times that of U.S. Treasuries?
Treasurer Mandel had a response to the pro-Arab letter: “In the Ohio treasurer’s office, we make decisions on what’s best for our taxpayers, not based on what radical Islamist groups want us to do.” Awesome! How many “public servants” would have the guts to say something like that? Very few.
“Unity of Nobility,” a white supremacist group simply stated that “Ohio Just Got Jewed.”
Maybe next go round Mandel can purchase shares of the Neo Nazi Trust or Hamas/Hezbollah Bond Fund with a yield of rockets and mortars.