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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.

Miller writes Governing's bi-monthly newsletter on Public Finance, which you can sign up for here.

He can be reached at 

States and local governments should craft coordinated policies that promote housing construction and first-time ownership. A winning formula includes tax relief for buyers and rebated permit fees for builders.
States are sending billions out to households in one form or another. But states don’t print money; they just shuffle it around. The payments amount to a rounding error in the overall inflation picture.
Tax-exempt issuers’ costs have shifted upward dramatically this year as the Federal Reserve has pushed interest rates higher to fight inflation. It’s time to re-strategize debt management programs.
With inflation taking root, state and local treasurers were warned of the risks of blindly investing their cash longer term for minuscule returns. It was advice that many ignored, leaving their portfolios squandering billions.
The president’s forgiveness of student loans aroused plenty of controversy. State and local governments can help craft a more sustainable federal plan that could help to relieve their own workforce shortages and staffing costs.
Private equity interests have lurked behind the skirts of public pensions to dodge higher income taxes. Now Big Tech moguls are trying to play public servants for patsies to fight stronger federal antitrust laws.
As with pension fund divestment policies, it’s tempting for states and local governments to blacklist companies over their public policy stances. But it’s the taxpayers who are likely to be the collateral damage losers.
With government workers’ pay raises lagging the private sector’s, state and local officials will need to navigate through different measures of inflation to fairly calibrate wage and pension increases.
A long-running lawsuit alleging collusion in the securities lending industry may be heading for class-action status. That could be a big deal not only for pension funds nationwide but also for the future of a $2.5 trillion marketplace.
State and local finance teams need game plans for two divergent outcomes of the Federal Reserve’s efforts to wring inflation out of the economy: a soft-landing slowdown or a more severe downturn.