The Christie discount

October 4, 2011

The Christie discount

The media is reporting that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will announce that he is not running for the Republican presidential nomination this afternoon. That’s probably wise given that the credit markets’ opinion of New Jersey would undercut any claim candidate Christie could make to being a responsible budget manager.

If you look at the Markit municipal credit default swap chart above you can see that credit markets think that the financial condition of New Jersey is pretty bad. It ranks only behind California and Illinois as a poor credit risk. It would be very hard for Governor Christie to tell the story of his fiscal successes in his state given the data. To be a credible candidate for the presidency he needs to develop real improvement for his state and reverse the Christie discount.

Here is the real muniland story

From the blog Credit Writedowns:

US states and local governments cut their debt by 3.2% in Q2 and 4.2% in Q1. This year looks to be the first year since 1996 that local governments in the US reduced their indebtedness.

Muniland’s dog eat dog

From Stateline (emphasis mine):

It may not quite be every level of government for itself, but many states are showing far less willingness to share revenues, even revenues that local governments consider theirs. They are forcing localities to streamline by limiting their ability to raise money, as with legislatively mandated property-tax caps in New York, New Jersey and Indiana, or Nebraska’s moves to keep Omaha from taxing the vehicles of suburban commuters and restricting cities’ ability to tax telecommunications.

States are setting out to reshuffle responsibilities up and down the governmental ladder — along with the funds that go with them — as California Governor Jerry Brown decided to do in this year’s budget. They are forcing local governments all over the country to reconsider long-established ways of doing business. And they are compelling local officials to rethink their relationship with state government.

@Twitter Talk

Barrett and Greene @GreeneBarrett Barrett and Greene   How Property Tax caps are pressuring local govt to rethink what they do & how they do it #Stateline

BostonFed @BostonFed Boston Fed Do you know what your state is doing to prevent foreclosure? Find out!

Marketplace @MktplaceRadio Marketplace  Florida joins 25 other states in banning smoking in prisons.

Kevin Yamamura @kyamamura Kevin Yamamura   One reviewer saw bad sign for Medi-Cal patients when SCOTUS justices found merit today in solicitor general argument:

mark bergen @mhbergen mark bergen  You bet, Rahm: Casino may short schoolkids $100 mill

OK Policy Institute @OKPolicy OK Policy Institute  QotD: “There are more poor than ever in Okla. and no (extra) money. This is the most challenging dilemma I’ve ever seen.”

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