Goldstein is missed at bond sale Maryland event occurs for first time in 40 years without the comptroller

July 09, 1998|By JoAnna Daemmrich | JoAnna Daemmrich,SUN STAFF

Few occasions could be less sentimental than a state bond sale. But at the Maryland treasury building yesterday, the men in tailored suits and wingtip shoes lost their customary reserve when they saw the empty chair of Louis L. Goldstein.

It was the first time in almost 40 years that a routine bond sale by the Board of Public Works had gone on without the state's beloved comptroller.

As they approved selling $250 million in bonds at a relatively low interest rate, Gov. Parris N. Glendening and Treasurer Richard N. Dixon, the other two members of the board, praised Goldstein. The small group of banking representatives grew somber, and a couple of state workers fought back tears, as the governor and treasurer remembered the man who was Maryland's financial guardian.

Goldstein died last week at 85, just as he had begun campaigning for an 11th term. He was buried Tuesday in a ceremony in his hometown of Prince Frederick in Calvert County that drew as many as 1,000 people.

"This will go down in memory as the first time in 40 years that bonds will be issued without Louis Goldstein," Glendening said. "It's a sad moment. But it also shows the strength and continuity that goes on because of the professional team he assembled."

A syndicate led by Goldman Sachs outbid three competitors with an interest rate of 4.57 percent. The interest rate is relatively low chiefly because Maryland -- one of only eight such states -- has a AAA bond rating, which Goldstein took pride in helping achieve. This has allowed the state to save more than $147 million in interest payments since 1971.

The proceeds of the bond sale will be used for construction, water quality and cultural projects, ranging from jail improvements in Wicomico County to the Children's Museum in Baltimore and the construction of an art center in Charles County.

Pub Date: 7/09/98

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