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Girard Miller

Girard Miller

Finance Columnist

Girard Miller is the finance columnist for Governing. He is a retired investment and public finance professional and the author of Enlightened Public Finance (2019).  Miller brings 30 years of experience in public finance and investments as a former GASB board member and ICMA Retirement Corp. president.

He can be reached at 

Rising interest rates have triggered substantial market losses from Golden State treasurers’ untimely investments of idle cash. It’s time for reforms wherever similar portfolios are now bleeding red ink.
If autocracy is moving the world toward deglobalization, geopolitical investment principles should complement environmental, social and governance factors. There’s a lot for pension boards and investment managers to keep in mind.
With the Federal Reserve raising interest rates, the yields on money market funds, state investment pools and bank accounts lag the payouts on safe securities. Staff needs to do its upside/downside homework.
Government workers are going to press for wage increases that — at a minimum — catch them up to rising prices. Budgeters and labor negotiators need to be careful not to lock in terms that put them in a fiscal squeeze in the future.
The White House has taken the first step. It’s time for our governments at every level to underwrite a public-private “solidarity bridge” to host many more: up to a million refugees and wartime orphans.
Many want to sanction Putin and Co. at every turn, but it’s a mistake to move too quickly. Pension funds actually don’t hold that much in Russian assets, and they're sitting ducks for crafty, amoral traders.
Legalized online wagering is already hauling in substantial state revenue, but additional taxation will need a uniform, multistate approach that might also take in “gamified” financial trading. And it’s time to do a better accounting of the growing social costs.
To combat inflation, the central bank will be raising interest rates and shedding a big chunk of its $8 trillion bond portfolio. Its actions will ripple through the world of state and local finance.
Progressives dislike its regressivity, but states and localities depend heavily on the revenue. Some reformers’ eyes are on taxing luxuries and digital intangibles — NFTs, anyone? — but that presents its own problems.
Many years ago, public financiers woke up to the problem of funding “other post-retirement benefits,” but then some of them went back to sleep. Younger public employees should demand an actuarial wake-up call.