Lisa's Feed
Dec 15, 2013

Little respite seen for U.S. municipal bonds in 2014

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The withering U.S. municipal bond market will shrink even more well into 2014, with interest rate and credit risks keeping both investors and borrowers away.

Barring an unforeseen turnaround in the final weeks of 2013, municipal bonds will post their first negative annual performance since the financial crisis, with investors fleeing municipal funds at a record pace and the market’s overall size, now less than $3.7 trillion, contracting for a third straight year.

Dec 15, 2013

Analysis: Little respite seen for U.S. municipal bonds in 2014

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The withering U.S. municipal bond market will shrink even more well into 2014, with interest rate and credit risks keeping both investors and borrowers away.

Barring an unforeseen turnaround in the final weeks of 2013, municipal bonds will post their first negative annual performance since the financial crisis, with investors fleeing municipal funds at a record pace and the market’s overall size, now less than $3.7 trillion, contracting for a third straight year.

Nov 13, 2013

US Airways, American deal seen as positive for airport debt

By Michael Connor and Lisa Lambert

(Reuters) – The deal American Airlines and U.S. Airways Group struck to sell gate slots at half a dozen airports in exchange for government clearance for a merger could lift a cloud that has hung over a popular corner of the municipal bond market since late summer.

The two carriers agreed on Tuesday to sell gate slots at Reagan National, LaGuardia and five other U.S. airports in order to allay anti-trust concerns raised by the U.S. Department of Justice, which had sued to block the two from combining to form the world’s largest airline.

Nov 5, 2013

U.S. SEC levies first municipal bond issuer fine

WASHINGTON, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Federal securities regulators
on Tuesday fined a municipal debt issuer for the first time
ever, charging the seller of bonds used to finance an ice rink
that ultimately fell into default with misleading investors
about the project’s viability.

In the strongest signal yet that it is serious about
clamping down on misbehavior by municipal bond issuers, the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission extracted a $20,000 penalty
from a special facilities district in the city of Wenatchee,
Washington, about 140 miles east of Seattle.

Nov 3, 2013

Republican Ayotte seeks ‘time out’ on Obamacare as anxieties grow

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte wants to press “pause” on rolling out the U.S. healthcare reform law as anxiety grows about troubles with the federal website for buying insurance and possibly low numbers of people signing up for coverage.

“I’m calling on the president now to say, ‘Let’s have a time-out on this.’ Mr. President, you call a time-out on this,” said Ayotte in an appearance on CNN on Sunday. “Convene a group of bipartisan leaders to address healthcare concerns in this country because this is not working.”

Oct 24, 2013

U.S. SEC eyes mutual funds with Puerto Rico debt exposure

Oct 24 (Reuters) – Examiners at the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission have started reaching out to mutual funds
with exposure to Puerto Rican debt, a spokesman for the agency
said on Thursday.

“Our examiners are reaching out to firms per usual to get a
sense of their exposure and how they’re managing it,” SEC
spokesman John Nester told Reuters.

Oct 15, 2013

Charter schools could hurt U.S. city school districts-Moody’s

WASHINGTON, Oct 15 (Reuters) – The widening reach of charter
schools across the United States is raising red flags for credit
rating agencies about the financial support of urban public
school districts.

“Charter schools are now significant competitors for
public…school districts, particularly in older core cities,
where they have achieved substantial, double-digit growth in
enrollment,” said Moody’s Investors Service in a special report
on Tuesday.

Oct 13, 2013

U.S. Senate leader ‘confident’ fiscal crisis can be averted

WASHINGTON, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Senate Majority Harry Reid
said Sunday that he was engaged in negotiations with Republican
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and was “confident” they could
resolve the fiscal crisis confronting Washington.

“We’re in conversation today,” Reid said on the Senate
floor.

“I’m confident that Republicans will allow the government to
open and extend the ability of this country to pay its bills.
And I’m going to do everything that I can throughout the day to
accomplish just this.”

Oct 13, 2013

Lawmakers hope Senate leaders can break fiscal impasse as deadline looms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lawmakers voiced tentative optimism Sunday that fiscal crisis talks between Senate leaders would pave the way to a deal to avert a government default and reopen the government, but Democrats and Republicans remained far apart on details.

As the clock ticked down to a Thursday deadline for raising the U.S. debt ceiling, necessary to avoid a possible government default that would roil world financial markets, both Democratic and Republican senators said the fact their leaders were meeting represented progress.

Oct 13, 2013

U.S. lawmakers hope Senate leaders can break fiscal impasse as deadline looms

WASHINGTON, Oct 13 (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers voiced
tentative optimism Sunday that fiscal crisis talks between
Senate leaders would pave the way to a deal to avert a
government default and reopen the government, but Democrats and
Republicans remained far apart on details.

As the clock ticked down to a Thursday deadline for raising
the U.S. debt ceiling, necessary to avoid a possible government
default that would roil world financial markets, both Democratic
and Republican senators said the fact their leaders were meeting
represented progress.