Lisa's Feed
Oct 7, 2011

Late financial reports dog U.S. localities: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – States, cities, counties and others who sell debt in the $3.7 trillion U.S. municipal bond market continue to struggle with providing prompt financial information to the public.

A report by Merritt Research Services released on Thursday found it took an average of 141.3 days for municipal bond issuers to complete audited financial reports for fiscal 2010, which ended for most in June 2010. That was only a slight dip from the average of 141.6 days in fiscal 2009.

Oct 4, 2011

Obama plan seen sparking 400,000 education jobs

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s latest economic plan could save or create up to 400,000 education jobs, the White House said on Tuesday as Obama pushed his $447 billion plan to revive the economy.

Obama’s proposed American Jobs Act would provide $30 billion for state and local efforts to retain, rehire and hire educators, supporting 392,400 jobs, according to projections released by the Education Department and White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Oct 4, 2011

Republicans question Federal Reserve’s dual mandate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Republican leader in Congress was poised on Tuesday to introduce legislation to strip the Federal Reserve of its mandate to ensure full employment, the latest bid in Washington to clip the central bank’s powers.

Representative Kevin Brady told a hearing of Congress’s Joint Economic Committee that restricting the Fed’s mandate to price stability would not mean the issue of employment would be ignored.

Oct 3, 2011

Analysis: New plans may not save public pensions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – To fix their persistent pension problems, some U.S. states are looking to reshape their retirement plans to resemble those in the private sector, but they may find may employees resistant and the savings elusive.

Over the last few decades, the private sector has ditched traditional pension plans with their defined benefits. They have been replaced with defined contribution accounts, such as 401(k)s, in which employees allocate a set amount each month to invest — often partly matched by employers — and then cash out at retirement.

Sep 30, 2011

Analysis: Move to new plans may not save public pensions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – To fix their persistent pension problems, some states are looking to reshape their retirement plans to resemble those in the private sector, but they may find may employees resistant and the savings elusive.

Over the last few decades, the private sector has ditched traditional pension plans with their defined benefits. They have been replaced with defined contribution accounts, such as 401(k)s, in which employees allocate a set amount each month to invest — often partly matched by employers — and then cash out at retirement.

Sep 29, 2011

Public pensions get a lift from stocks: Census

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Public pensions, stung by the financial crisis and government cutbacks, have enjoyed steadily improving investments for nearly two years, mostly due to stocks, U.S. Census data released on Thursday showed.

In the second quarter of 2011, public pensions’ total holdings and investments rose for the fourth quarter in a row to the highest level since the middle of 2008, the Census said. From the quarter before, they rose 1.3 percent to $2.8 trillion. And from the year before, they jumped 17.6 percent to $2.4 trillion.

Sep 29, 2011

U.S. public pensions get a lift from stocks-Census

WASHINGTON, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Public pensions, stung by
the financial crisis and government cutbacks, have enjoyed
steadily improving investments for nearly two years, mostly
due to stocks, U.S. Census data released on Thursday showed.

In the second quarter of 2011, public pensions’ total
holdings and investments rose for the fourth quarter in a row
to the highest level since the middle of 2008, the Census
said. From the quarter before, they rose 1.3 percent to $2.8
trillion. And from the year before, they jumped 17.6 percent
to $2.4 trillion.

Sep 27, 2011

U.S. cities’ fiscal pain may become chronic: survey

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Fiscal pain for cities grew more acute this year and will likely become a chronic problem in many places, according to a survey of civic officials released on Tuesday.

The National League of Cities, which represents city leaders across the country, said finance officers are growing accustomed to a “new normal,” defined by lower property values and declining home sales.

Sep 26, 2011

Radian looking to form mutual bond insurance co

Sept 26 (Reuters) – Radian Group Inc is looking to
form a new public finance mutual bond insurance company with the
National League of Cities (NLC) in the hope of re-igniting a
sector that burned out during the financial crisis.

NLC, a non-profit organization that represents civic leaders
from across the country, has sought a collective form of
insurance to replace the models that faltered during the credit
crunch and to help small issuers.

Sep 23, 2011

Obama to loosen U.S. education law, cites flaws

WASHINGTON, Sept 23 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on
Friday announced steps to roll back key provisions of “No Child
Left Behind,” calling the decade-old U.S. education law
admirable but flawed.

The law, signed by President George W. Bush in 2002, was
intended to hold schools and states accountable for students’
performance, as measured by annual testing.