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Twitter’s ‘Bond Girl’ Outs Herself as Kentucky Official

A Kentucky official identified herself as Twitter’s “Bond Girl,” an anonymous tart-tongued commenter on municipal-bond matters with more than 8,400 followers.

“I changed my name on my account,” Kristi Culpepper, who heads the Kentucky School Facilities Construction Commission, said yesterday in a telephone interview from Frankfort, the state capital. “I felt like it.”

Culpepper declined further comment. Her almost 24,000 Twitter postings began disappearing yesterday.

Bond Girl, using the Twitter handle @munilass, had been posting commentary about state and city borrowing and issues beyond public finance since April 2011. Her sometimes-pointed posts attracted the attention of municipal-bond investors, bankers and analysts. Using her nom de Twitter, Culpepper sparred with other users, criticized public officials and vented about her life.

“Would seem my archnemesis is retiring,” Bond Girl wrote in a message posted 46 days ago and cached on another website. “So I can finally reallocate all the money I was saving for a hit man.”

Culpepper “is regarded as an authority on capital projects and debt by the Legislative body,” according to a Kentucky Education Department website posted in November that announced her appointment. “She has worked with legislators, lobbyists, and attorneys to draft legislation and effect policy changes related to the state’s bonded indebtedness.”

‘Fascinating’ View

Culpepper, a member of the Junior League of Louisville, has undergraduate and masters degrees from Baylor University, a Baptist school in Waco, Texas, according to the site.

Kentucky’s social-media policy tells employees: “When blogging or commenting about work, individuals should use their real name, identify that they work for the Commonwealth, and be clear about their role.”

“Kentucky State Government has a policy,” Pamela Trautner, public information officer for the state’s finance and administration cabinet, said in an e-mail. “Given this and the recent developments with Ms. Culpepper, we are reviewing the matter.”

Bloomberg News contacted Culpepper by phone yesterday after she revealed herself in a Twitter post that said the Bond Buyer newspaper had figured out who she was.

“Views I have expressed do not represent those of my employer,” Culpepper wrote in a posting after identifying herself.

Muni Enigma

Buyers and traders in the $3.7 trillion muni market had puzzled at the true identity of Bond Girl, Hector Negroni, co-founder of New York-based investing firm Fundamental Credit Opportunities, said in a telephone interview.

“For any bond geek like myself, she’s fascinating, well-informed and entertaining,” Negroni said.

On Oct. 28, as Bond Girl, she wrote a 1,650-word blog post for the Financial Times’ Alphaville on a proposed debtor-in-possession financing for bankrupt Detroit.

“The loan should allow the city the flexibility to extend the maturity so as not to put the city at risk of locating a replacement lending facility if its bankruptcy and recovery do not reflect the ambitious trajectory that the emergency manager is selling,” she wrote.

Twitter War

Her postings ranged from such critical analysis of deals and politicians to musings on her personal affect.

“Not sure what I was thinking when I got dressed this morning,” she wrote in January. “Look like I’m in an action movie.”

She also engaged in direct conflict. In one exchange, Bond Girl criticized Cate Long, a Reuters columnist and frequent nemesis, comparing her with Meredith Whitney, an analyst who in December 2010 predicted a wave of defaults that never occurred.

“I’m now unfollowing anyone who puts Cate Long’s idiocy in my stream,” Bond Girl wrote on July 25, 2013. “No exceptions. Worst source of information on munis apart from Whitney.”

Long expressed appreciation yesterday for those who stood with her.

“Thanks everyone for the messages of support about the abuse I got from recently self-outed @munilass,” Long wrote. “You’ve been tremendously supportive.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Michelle Kaske in New York at mkaske@bloomberg.net; Brian Chappatta in New York at bchappatta1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net Alan Goldstein

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