Robert Lafee Citron is a Democratic Partypolitician who was the longtime Treasurer-Tax Collector of Orange County, California, when it declared Chapter 9bankruptcy on December 6, 1994. Citron was the only Democrat to hold office in otherwise Conservative/Republican Orange County at the time. The bankruptcy was brought on by Citron's investment strategies, which seemed to be an effort to earn high incomes for the county to pay for increased demand for county services in a time of strong opposition to raising taxes. As usual in finance, high incomes went along with high risk. So this strategy left the county with inadequate capital to allow for any raise in interest rates for its trading positions. A cash crunch occurred when interest rates increased and financiers for the county required increased collateral from the county.
Citron controlled several Orange County funds including the General Fund, the Investment Pool, and the treasury Commingled Pool. He sent out the county's tax bills with catchy slogans, such as "Taxes paid on time never draw fines." He won re-election seven times; in his last election victory, his opponent, John Moorlach, charged that his handsome gains were the result of risky betting.
As controller of the various Orange County funds, Citron had taken a highly leveraged position... Read More