Atlanta officials are celebrating and calling into question this finding regarding MARTA’s investment choices. I’m not even going to try to re-summarize it–my layman’s summary of another layperson’s summary of a complex financial instrument would be folly.
To me, the fact that MARTA deemed it worthwhile to seek revenue through this means raises the point that transit agencies are getting a bit desperate for cash–undertaking apparently legal but, nevertheless, convoluted and (to some) troubling investments as a way to stay financially secure. I’m not really saying MARTA did anything wrong. I’m more saying that it points to the value of continuing the conversation about more “traditional” ways to fund transit (fares, sales taxes, maybe gas taxes, other streams) so that protracted audits like this one are less necessary.