Joan's Feed
Aug 8, 2011

S&P cuts ratings tied to U.S. sovereign credit

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Credit ratings for some of the main arteries of the U.S. financial system — from clearing houses to government mortgage agencies — were cut one notch to AA-plus by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services on Monday.

S&P in a statement said the downgrades — which also hit big insurers — were due to its lowering of the U.S. sovereign credit rating late on Friday. That decision is prompting the agency to review ratings of a host of entities whose financial health depends heavily on the federal government.

Aug 8, 2011

Wall St slide may puncture New York City economy

NEW YORK, Aug 8 (Reuters) – New York City, whose economy
rests on Wall Street’s shoulders, has the most to fear from a
confidence-rattling economic shock because the city’s budget is
prepared to adjust to a gradual decline, economists say.

The stock market’s meltdown and the tens of thousands of
layoffs announced by the city’s hometown financial industry
have not — at least for now — matched the stresses of
2008-2009.

Aug 8, 2011

S&P cuts ratings of U.S. depository, clearing houses

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Credit ratings for the main arteries of the U.S. financial system — the Depository Trust Co, National Securities Clearing Corp, Fixed Income Clearing Corp and the Options Clearing Corp — were cut one notch to AA-plus by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services on Monday.

These institutions, previously rated AAA by S&P, clear and process trades and are crucial to the daily workings of the U.S. financial markets.

Aug 1, 2011

States may hit borrow button if federal aid cut

NEW YORK (Reuters) – States may go their own way in adopting fiscal policies and turn to more borrowing if Congress on Monday enacts a last-minute compromise plan raising the federal debt ceiling.

Across the nation, local officials — who spent the last month fretting that the United States would default for the first time — now fear the debt-cap bill will cut the federal deficit by yanking billions of dollars of aid from them.

Jul 15, 2011

NYC urged to alter investing mix to cut pension gap

NEW YORK, July 14 (Reuters) – New York City is overweighted
in U.S. stocks and should invest more of its pension funds in
other assets, such as U.S. Treasuries, and must lower benefits
for new hires, Deputy Mayor Robert Steel said on Thursday.

Putting more cash into international equities and fixed
income, inflation-protected bonds, commodities, currencies, and
real estate could improve returns, he said, helping the city
afford over $80 billion of contributions over the next decade.

Jul 14, 2011

Fix NYC pension gap with investments: deputy mayor

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City should invest more of its pension funds in international equities and other assets because improving returns would help the city with its soaring contributions, Deputy Mayor Robert Steel said on Thursday.

States, counties, cities, and schools around the country are grappling with the same problem — huge shortfalls in their pension funds. Steel is one of the first and most prominent experts to tackle the issue of lagging returns.

Jul 12, 2011

Default would slam financial system: NYC mayor

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A debt default would have a catastrophic effect on the nation’s financial system and also deal a huge setback to New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Tuesday.

Bloomberg, mentioned among possible successors to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, said the federal government must avoid damaging the nation’s economy and its credibility around the world with a first-ever U.S. default.

Jul 5, 2011

NY property-tax cap may hit cash-poor cities: report

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York state’s new property-tax cap might further pressure counties, cities, towns and school districts already struggling with lower tax revenue and higher expenses in the recession’s wake, according to a report released on Tuesday by Moody’s Investors Service.

The new law, which was signed on Tuesday by Governor Andrew Cuomo, is intended to help homeowners by compressing property taxes. The law is also intended to buoy the economy by lowering a barrier to new jobs.

Jun 30, 2011

New York state shuts 7 prisons in budget crunch

NEW YORK, June 30 (Reuters) – New York Governor Andrew
Cuomo on Thursday chose the seven prisons that will be shut
down to save $184 million, a contentious issue because the
upstate area values these facilities for the jobs they
create.

All but two of the prisons are located in the upstate
region, which has never fully recovered from the loss of
manufacturing jobs over the last few decades.

Jun 30, 2011

New York steps closer to allowing hydrofracking

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York state would throw open its share of one of the world’s richest natural gas deposits to drilling under recommendations made by its environmental agency, creating a potential boom feared by environmentalists.

While taking steps to protect New York City’s drinking water, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recommendations to Governor Andrew Cuomo would lift an effective moratorium on the controversial natural gas extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing.