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Governor Barbour Weighs Impact of US Credit Downgrade on Mississippi

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 09 Aug 2011 07:10pm | comments
Governor Haley Barbour in his Jackson office.

The downgrade of the U-S Government credit rating could make it more expensive for Mississippi to borrow money. MPB's Jeffrey Hess spoke with Governor Haley Barbour about the potential impact to Mississippi's economic recovery.

In a few weeks Mississippi will issue bonds for building projects around the state.

Governor Haley Barbour says that is when the state will learn if it is becoming more expensive to borrow money.

"We normally issue state bonds annually. So we will have an issuance this fall and based on what we have seen so far the downgrade doesn't seem to have affected those interest rates. But we will see. It is several weeks before we have an issuance and we will see if anything changes," Barbour said.

Barbour is quick to point out that interest rates on government debts are still very low and haven't risen since the down grade, indicating that investors still see public debt as a safe bet.

The Governor says he is more concerned that the downgrade will not have an effect on the process in Washington.

"The main thing that concerns me is that the administration and that many in Congress don't want to do anything different. That they don't want to address the problem," Barbour said.

Barbour is nearing the end of his second term as Governor but says he plans to stay active until his term ends.

"We have got some economic development projects. We have a number of different things. I have got five more months as Governor and I am going to try and give the tax payers five months worth of work," Barbour said.

The election to select his replacement is just three months away and Barbour says one of the biggest challenges the new governor will face is managing Mississippi's struggling economy.

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Governor Haley Barbour in his Jackson office.


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