Correspondent, New York
Megan's Feed
Dec 5, 2014

Falling oil prices seen boosting consumer spending, U.S. state revenues

NEW YORK, Dec 4 (Reuters) – U.S. state treasurers are
anticipating a boost in sales revenues from plunging oil prices,
which give people more discretionary spending power, but that is
tempered by fears of the harm it could to do energy-focused

Oil prices have fallen by more than a third since June and
price forecasts have collapsed in the wake of the Organization
of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ decision not to cut output
despite a global glut.

Nov 20, 2014

Toll roads more attractive on lower gas prices: Lebenthal

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Toll roads are becoming a more attractive investment as lower energy prices provide a greater incentive for drivers to use their cars and boost the use of toll roads, Gregory Serbe, portfolio manager at municipal bond specialist firm Lebenthal Asset Management, said on Thursday.

The average price of gasoline has fallen to its lowest level since December 2010, to $2.94 per gallon, driven by the slide in crude oil prices.

Nov 6, 2014

Muni investors worried about tax impact from U.S. midterms

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Sweeping changes in the Senate have rekindled old worries for U.S. municipal bond investors about a clean-up of the tax code that could impact bonds, however, fundamental changes to the tax treatment of munis is seen unlikely.

Both Democrats and Republicans have talked about tax reform in the past, but having one party in control of Congress may increase the chance that something gets done, analysts say.

Nov 5, 2014

State tax cuts could gain traction after governors races

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Tax-cutting measures in a handful of states looked to gain traction following Tuesday’s elections, potentially weakening fiscal positions if revenues fail to keep pace with spending.

Republican governors triumphed in key races, riding a partisan tide that will give them control of the Senate. Policies proposed by some of those governors were aggressive about cutting taxes.

Oct 30, 2014

U.S. governor races could determine swing states’ fiscal health

NEW YORK, Oct 30 (Reuters) – U.S. voters’ readiness to face
tough issues such as pension reform rather than simply kick the
can further down the road will be put to the test next week as
two-thirds of state governor posts go up for election.

A handful of the Nov. 4 races such as the dead heat in
Illinois, possibly the most fiscally dysfunctional state, shape
up as de facto referendums on reform and their results could
make municipal bond investors alter their bets.

Oct 14, 2014

New Jersey’s Christie sees voter support slip to new low: poll

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a possible Republican presidential contender for 2016, has seen his favorability drop to its lowest level recorded as voters worry about taxes, the economy, jobs and corruption, according to a poll released on Tuesday.

Top aides of Christie were tarnished by the “Bridgegate” scandal in 2013, which saw lane closures to the George Washington Bridge. Critics said the closures were orchestrated for political retribution.

Sep 4, 2014

Puerto Rico selects AlixPartners’ Donahue for power restructuring: sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Puerto Rico has selected AlixPartners’ Lisa Donahue to lead a restructuring of the U.S. territory’s troubled power authority PREPA, two sources briefed on the matter said on Thursday.

PREPA, whose debt troubles are a symbol of the wider stress threatening the U.S. territory, must select a restructuring chief by Monday under a forbearance agreement with lenders and other creditors as it undertakes to restructure more than $9 billion in debt.

Sep 3, 2014

Exclusive: Puerto Rico’s PREPA eyes AlixPartners, FTI execs for restructuring post – sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Turnaround experts from AlixPartners and FTI Consulting are among those being considered to lead the restructuring of Puerto Rico’s troubled power authority PREPA, according to four people close to the matter, and an announcement could come this week.

PREPA, whose debt troubles are a symbol of the wider troubles threatening the U.S. territory, must select a restructuring chief by Monday under a forbearance agreement with lenders and other creditors as it undertakes to restructure more than $9 billion in debt.

Aug 21, 2014

New York, California reap mini-bonanza from Bank of America settlement

NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES, Aug 21 (Reuters) – A clutch of states
including California, New York and Illinois will share in a
mini-bonanza from the $16.65 billion settlement agreed by Bank
of America Corp on Thursday.

The settlement announced by the U.S. Department of Justice
calls for the second-largest U.S. bank to pay a $9.65 billion
cash penalty on charges that it misled investors into buying
troubled mortgage-backed securities, and provide $7 billion of
relief to struggling homeowners and communities.

Aug 19, 2014

In riot-hit Ferguson, traffic fines boost tension and budget

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When calm and order is finally restored to Ferguson, Missouri, the city’s leaders may find little room to maneuver to resolve an issue that has long inflamed racial tensions: traffic tickets.

On the surface it would seem an easy fix for the mainly white police force simply to adopt a less aggressive policy on traffic stops, which overwhelmingly and disproportionately snare black motorists.