Orange County May Become the Avis of Municipal Bankruptcies

Since 1994, Orange County has held the . . . um . . . honor of having achieved the . . . erm . . . distinction of the largest municipal bankruptcy in history, a $1.64 billion financial fuck-up that has managed to stick like Roger Maris' single-season homerun record.

But the seemingly unbeatable always seems to be beat by the equivalent of a hulking, juiced-up Mark McGwire lurking around the corner, followed by an even hulkier, juiced-er Barry Bonds lurking around the next corner.

Orange County's Barry Bonds could be Jefferson County, Alabama, which is the subject of a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation not only into the government there but the banks--including JPMorgan, that lent it money. According to this right here, "Jefferson County is now ready to blow up" and "[i]f it does, it will be the largest municipal default in the nation, making Orange County California's problem look like a spec of sand."

Don't worry, OC, we'll always have Disneyland, Richard Nixon, Bob Dornan, The O.C., The Real Housewives of Orange County and Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County to help cement our reputation in the national eye.

But becoming the home of the second largest municipal bankruptcy in history just doesn't have the same ring to it. Like Avis, we'll just have to try harder.


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