Bill Beavers has seen nothing in his 50 years in the tax-exempt bond business like today's interest rates.
"Zero-point-4 percent for a two-year bond?" Beavers said incredulously in his Regency office the other day. "Twenty-year bonds for 3.25 percent? It's a great time to borrow because of the low rates."
But if you're looking for a big return, it's a rotten time to buy the government bonds that Beavers arranges through Ameritas Investment Corp.
Bond issues these days are a challenge for Beavers and others in the business of bringing together investors who want a tax-free return and government agencies, large and small, that want to refinance or build anew.
Who would tie up their money for 20 years at a rate that might not even beat inflation?
And who, sitting on the board of a school district, a county, a utility, a college, a city or some other public agency, relishes asking voters to approve building projects in today's tax-averse, anti-debt, economically shaky atmosphere?