Moody’s: Oops, Montco’s bond rating ain’t so great
by Bonnie Cook, Posted: December 13, 2011
Montgomery County has received notice that Moody's Investor Service made an error when it upgraded the outlook on the county's coveted Aaa bond rating last week from negative to stable. The rating agency had undertaken a review of the county's finances related to the amount of federal funding it receives, according to a statement issued this afternoon by Montgomery County Communications Director John Corcoran. Moody's had earlier concluded that the county does not rely heavily on federal funding and, based on that, had issued the rating upgrade, Corcoran said. Moody's now says it had made a mistake in issuing the upgrade, and that Montgomery County maintains its Aaa bond rating, but with a negative outlook. "I think it's outrageous for a rating agency with as much influence on the markets as Moody's, to make a mistake like this," said Montgomery County Commissioners Chairman Joseph M. Hoeffel. "Regardless of how this error occurred, it doesn't change the fact that Montgomery County is fiscally sound," he said. "As I said last week, we've been very prudent with how we spend taxpayer dollars and we're working very hard to do so again in the budget for 2012," Hoeffel said.