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Dec 31, 2014

Twist ending: U.S. municipal bond sales in 2014 to surpass 2013

WASHINGTON, Dec 31 (Reuters) – Sales of new U.S. municipal
bonds in 2014 will exceed 2013′s total, Thomson Reuters data
showed on Wednesday, a twist ending to a year that began with
shrinking supply.

Preliminary data shows issuance for 2014 was likely $314.95
billion, 1 percent more than the $311.86 billion sold in 2013.
The increase was from refinancing, with refunding bonds rising
11.5 percent to $180.44 billion, as well as large deals. The
number of deals in 2014, 10,156, was down from 10,563 in 2013.

Dec 30, 2014

Fees, expenses for Detroit bankruptcy hit nearly $178 million

By Karen Pierog and Lisa Lambert

(Reuters) – Detroit’s historic bankruptcy, which officially
ended earlier this month, cost the city nearly $178 million in
fees and expenses for teams of lawyers and consultants,
according to a city court filing on Tuesday.

Jones Day, Detroit’s lead law firm for the biggest-ever
municipal bankruptcy which was filed by the city in July 2013,
billed the most by far, at $57.9 million.

Dec 11, 2014

U.S. municipal bond market shrinks to smallest in five years: Fed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. municipal bond market contracted to $3.63 trillion in the third quarter, the smallest amount of outstanding debt in five years, according to Federal Reserve data released on Thursday.

The total was only slightly less than the second quarter, when all outstanding bonds equaled $3.66 trillion, the Fed’s quarterly report showed.

Dec 11, 2014

U.S. municipal bond market shrinks to smallest in 5 yrs-Fed

WASHINGTON, Dec 11 (Reuters) – The U.S. municipal bond
market contracted to $3.63 trillion in the third quarter, the
smallest amount of outstanding debt in five years, according to
Federal Reserve data released on Thursday.

The total was only slightly less than the second quarter,
when all outstanding bonds equaled $3.66 trillion, the Fed’s
quarterly report showed.

Dec 9, 2014

U.S. states’ revenue growth picks up but still ‘lackluster’ -survey

WASHINGTON, Dec 9 (Reuters) – U.S. states’ revenues are
growing at a faster clip than last year, mostly due to the
brightening national economic picture, and are stabilizing the
governments’ budgets, according to a nationwide survey released
on Tuesday.

“Economic growth and declines in the unemployment rate have
led to an improved outlook for state revenues in fiscal 2015,
but state budgets still face challenges from stagnant wages,”
the National Association of State Budget Officers survey found.

Dec 5, 2014

U.S. strikes deal with Chicago suburb of Harvey over bond fraud

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Chicago suburb of Harvey has settled civil charges in an unusual case where federal regulators had rushed to obtain an emergency restraining order against a planned bond sale, the Securities and Exchange Commission said on Friday.

Under the settlement reached with the SEC on Thursday, Harvey will be required to obtain an independent consultant and undergo an audit, and the city faces certain restrictions on selling new debt.

Nov 21, 2014

Many U.S. muni bond issuers, underwriters report rule violations -SEC

WASHINGTON, Nov 21 (Reuters) – A large number of U.S.
municipalities and bond underwriters have reported through a
federal program that they violated securities disclosures law,
with many revealing they failed to give investors material
information, a top securities cop said on Friday.

Issuers face a Dec. 1 deadline to report disclosure
violations to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the
regulator’s latest stab at strengthening regulation of the $3.7
trillion municipal market.

Nov 10, 2014

Judge to set start date soon for Detroit bankruptcy exit measures

By Lisa Lambert

(Reuters) – The judge who confirmed Detroit’s plan to exit the biggest municipal bankruptcy in history could set a date later this week for the cost- and debt-cutting measures to take effect.

Federal Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes on Friday ruled the plan for cutting $7 billion in debt was fair to creditors and feasible for the city to implement. [ID:nL1N0SX1A4] Now he must set that plan in motion with a confirmation order.

Nov 7, 2014

Judge confirms Detroit plan to exit historic bankruptcy

DETROIT (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Friday confirmed Detroit’s plan to adjust $18 billion of debt and exit the biggest-ever municipal bankruptcy.

The ruling by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Steven Rhodes, who is overseeing the historic case, came more than two months after the start of a hearing to determine whether the 1,165-page plan was fair to creditors and feasible for the city to implement.

Nov 7, 2014

U.S. judge confirms Detroit plan to exit historic bankruptcy

DETROIT, Nov 7 (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Friday confirmed
Detroit’s plan to adjust $18 billion of debt and exit the
biggest-ever municipal bankruptcy.

The ruling by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Steven Rhodes, who
is overseeing the historic case, came more than two months after
the start of a hearing to determine whether the 1,165-page plan
was fair to creditors and feasible for the city to implement.