Post shutdown, sigh of relief from state investors

Oct 17, 2013

With the federal shutdown over and a government default averted, investors breathed a sigh of relief Thursday.  That includes the people responsible for investing billions of dollars on behalf of Illinois state government. 

 The state of Illinois has about $10 billion dollars in investments.

 That money is the responsibility of Treasurer Dan Rutherford, who says about $1.2 billion of Illinois' portfolio is in the form of U.S. Treasury Bills.

 When Congressional Republicans threatened to let the government default on that kind of debt over an attempt to defund the Affordable Care Act, Rutherford says Illinois had to explore other investments.

 "So what we did in preparation for all of this was look at other instruments to be able to still draw some interest, but were secure, and not have to rely on that $1.2 billion of Treasury Bills coming through."

 Rutherford, who's also one of four men seeking the Republican nomination for governor in Illinois, refused to comment on his party's tactics in pursuing the shutdown and threatening default.He says the focus of state politicians ought to be on working with Congressmen to inform them of the consequences of a shutdown -- not getting involved in the debate.