FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 2014
Contact: Michael Fortney, 303.910.3808
Treasurer Candidate Markey fails public finance 101, again
DENVER, COâ€” During this past weekendâ€™s debate, moderated by KDVRâ€™s Eli Stokols, candidate for Colorado Treasurer and former Congresswoman Betsy Markey failed to answer a simple question about public finance. When asked to give a simple definition of a yield curve, she was unable to respond and desperately tried to change the subject. This should be of great concern to Colorado voters. The primary job of the State Treasurer is to oversee Coloradoâ€™s $9 billion investment portfolio, and to execute large financial transactions for the state. This is the second example during this campaign of Markey showing little grasp of the duties of the Treasurerâ€™s office, and of public finance more broadly.
â€œThis was not a difficult or obscure financial term; yield curves are looked at everyday in the Treasurerâ€™s office and help guide the decisions on investments and financing options. This is public finance 101,â€ stated Stapletonâ€™s campaign manager Michael Fortney. â€œBetsy Markey, who is asking voters to elect her as the overseer of Coloradoâ€™s finances, once again displayed that she does not have the background or the knowledge to effectively serve as Colorado Treasurer.â€
This is not the first time that Markey has displayed a disturbingly thin understanding of finance and the Treasurerâ€™s office. This past spring, as documented by a Denver Post reporter, Markey attacked Treasurer Stapleton for getting lesser returns on the stateâ€™s investment portfolio than his predecessor in the office. This declaration exhibited a complete lack of understanding of bond markets and Colorado investment statutes.
The Colorado Treasurer's office manages around $9 billion in taxpayer money. Under Colorado law, the stateâ€™s tax dollars are invested in U.S. Treasuries or bonds, not in the stock market. The yield on these bonds is impacted by interest rates as dictated by the Federal Reserve. Bonds do not respond directly to macroeconomic performance, as the stock market does.
Treasurer Stapleton's investment portfolio has beaten benchmark returns every year since he assumed office. These benchmarks are set by the 12-month moving average of a constant maturity yield of 2-year treasury notes, again, dictated by interest rates, not the overall economy.
"Markey has now demonstrated, twice, that she has a disqualifying low understanding of public finance. Frankly, Colorado voters should be frightened to hand the keys of such an important office over to someone with such a lack of command of basic finance,â€ concluded Fortney.
Before being elected Treasurer in 2010, Stapleton spent his career in the private sector, serving as chief financial officer and chief executive officer of various private and publicly held companies. Stapleton has a bachelorâ€™s degree from Williams College, a graduate degree from the London School of Economics, and an MBA from Harvard University.