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Orange County | IN BRIEF / COUNTYWIDE

S&P Boosts County's Credit Rating for Bonds

April 10, 2002|From Times Staff Reports

Orange County's credit rating for bonds was upgraded a notch Tuesday, indicating further financial recovery from the county's historic 1996 bankruptcy.

Standard & Poor's upgraded the county's bonds from A to A+, the fifth-highest municipal rating. The highest rating is AAA. Before the bankruptcy, the county's bond rating had risen to AA-. It plunged to as low as D after then-Treasurer Robert L. Citron's risky investments resulted in a $1.67-billion loss to the county's government investment pool.

Current Treasurer John M.W. Moorlach said he was "pleasantly surprised" by the upgrade, given the shaky financial condition of the state budget. Moody's Investors Service, another national rating agency, has all 58 California counties on credit watch, he said.

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