Chris Christie’s pension reform: round two

By Cate Long
March 4, 2014

I have a lot of experience talking to Congressional staffers, regulators, rating agency analysts, municipal bond traders and portfolio managers. When you pump these parties for information there is always a clear line about the type and amount of information they will share.

Tax reform is back in muniland

By Cate Long
February 28, 2014

Tax reform is back in muniland headlines. Naomi Jagoda of the Bond Buyer has the details:

Puerto Rico Senate approves $3.5 billion general obligation issuance

By Cate Long
February 28, 2014

The Puerto Rico Senate followed the House and approved the authorization of $3.5 billion of new general obligation bonds. Included in the approved legislation is language that allows bond anticipation notes to be issued. The legislation allows for the new debt to:

The SEC’s new municipal adviser rule is not confusing

By Cate Long
February 27, 2014

Governing.com ran a story titled “Why’s the SEC’s New Municipal Advisor Rule So Confusing?” Actually the new rule, although not yet finalized, is not confusing. There are resources for muniland participants to understand how it will be implemented and what responsibilities muni advisors have towards their clients. In fact, I have never seen a better rollout for a new regulatory effort.

Puerto Rico’s bond rally and economic contraction

By Cate Long
February 25, 2014

Reuters and others have reported on the recent rally in Puerto Rico bonds.

The S&P Municipal Bond Puerto Rico Index is up 4.94 percent so far this year, with most of that increase happening in February. That same index fell more than 20 percent in 2013, when net outflows in Puerto Rico-oriented funds totaled $20.2 billion, or 28 percent of $83.4 billion in assets under management, according to Lipper data.

How much will Detroit bondholders suffer?

By Cate Long
February 25, 2014

Reactions to Detroit’s plan of adjustment

By Cate Long
February 24, 2014

Detroit’s plan of adjustment was filed on Friday by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr (Plan of Adjustment Disclosure Statement):

Pension tension and getting the job done

By Cate Long
February 21, 2014

Video source: Pennsylvania Senate GOP

My colleague Felix Salmon recently dove into the subject of public pensions and the controversy about National Public Radio accepting funding from pension reform zealot John Arnold. It’s too bad that NPR and its affiliate WNYT were not more transparent about their connection to Arnold. There is a lack of understanding about the condition of public pension systems and how many are in dire financial condition. For example, Salmon wrote:

‘There is no lien, there is no property interest, these creditors are like all others’

By Cate Long
February 20, 2014

A showdown between bond insurers and city attorneys in Detroit’s bankruptcy highlights the level of protection that secured bondholders have in Chapter 9 bankruptcy. Detroit attorneys argued that federal bankruptcy law trumps Michigan state law and that “secured” bonds could be impaired. From Chad Livengood of the Detroit News:

Puerto Rico partly opens the kimono

By Cate Long
February 19, 2014

Puerto Rico held a long-awaited investor call on Tuesday. In a highly scripted performance, participants delivered statements that accompanied the presentation slide deck. The call lasted one hour and 20 minutes and no questions from attendees were answered. Written questions submitted two weeks prior were addressed. Important issues of government liquidity and the proposed 2015 budget were briefly detailed.