MuniLand

Muniland is shrinking

By Cate Long
August 12, 2011

Although municipal tax revenues have rebounded in the last few quarters, the declines of prior years have hit state and local employment hard.  In the chart above Matt Yglesias shows the collapse of state and local revenues; with the collapse of revenues we’ve seen the loss of many muniland jobs. Now the story is pivoting to large potential job losses at the federal level.

The New York Times is reporting that:

The financially strapped U.S. Postal Service is considering cutting as many as 120,000 jobs.

Facing a second year of losses totaling $8 billion or more, the agency also wants to pull its workers out of the retirement and health benefits plans covering federal workers and set up its own benefit systems.

And as the Congress considers reducing military spending, defense contractors are preparing for job cuts too. Although I’m sorry any person would lose a job I won’t mourn military job losses. We spend way too much money on this sector. Bloomberg had a good video on the potential fallout:

 

Daily Rater roundup

Muniland:  Are raters accurate?

WSJ:  Raters Fail to See Defaults Coming

Harvard Business Review:  Ratings Agencies Are the Darnedest Things

Reuters:  S&P controversy fuels demands for ratings reforms

Reuters:  SEC investigating S&P’s downgrade of U.S. debt: report

Politco:   S&P: Debt default skeptics fueled ratings downgrade

American Banker:  S&P Backlash May Hasten Pursuit of Credit Ratings Alternatives

The Economist:  Substandard & Poor

S&P:  Ratings by country and debt data

@Twitter Talk

@IpreoMuni: New issue volume flies in the face of rating’s downgrade. Here is nxt wk’s muni new issue calendar : http://bit.ly/nhT6ZR

@MillerTabak: massive gyrations in financial markets are the byproduct of zero interest rates – picture a market trying to add value in a row boat

@JimPethokoukis: Illinois says it can no longer afford $13m a year to properly bury the poor. http://bit.ly/pfuMon

@Fixedology: Meredith Whitney was on CNBC again yesterday. She did not talk about municipal bonds .

Follow me at @cate_long and muni issues at #muniland

+Good Links

The Monkey Cage: Do Austerity Measures Increase the Risk of Social Chaos?

Bloomberg: Enron Billionaire Bankrolls California Advocate for Public Pension Changes

Bond Buyer: Lower-Rated Debt Gets Its Chance

Reuters: Factbox: U.S. Municipal Bankruptcies

Bond Buyer: Return of Triple-A Insurers Unlikely

Bond Buyer: Stifel to Buy $162.5 Million of School Notes

Philadelphia Inquirer: The ‘mobs’ we haven’t heard much about

Birmingham News: Bankruptcy or settlement? Jefferson County sewer deal in doubt

Bloomberg: JPMorgan’s Jefferson County Sleaze

Bloomberg: Illinois Budget Doesn’t Address Pension Payment Backlog, Moody’s Says

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