How effective was Illinois’ pension reform?

December 15, 2013

The state of Illinois had two milestone events recently. The legislature passed a long-awaited pension reform and the state treasurer issued $350 million of taxable general obligation (GO) bonds. The Bond Buyer reported on the GO offering:

The ‘new stable’ for local governments

December 12, 2013

Moody’s Ratings made a big sector call last week in its U.S. Public Finance outlook:

A focus on infrastructure in the U.K.

December 10, 2013

The United Kingdom created an independent group, U.K. Infrastructure, to track, coordinate and promote infrastructure investment in the country. It announced its latest plan last week:

A note to New York Fed President William Dudley

December 10, 2013

Dear President Dudley:

Although it is a longstanding policy of the Federal Reserve not to intervene in the finances of state and local governments, it may be time to reconsider this policy in the case of Puerto Rico. A member of your board of directors, Richard Carrión the CEO and Chairman of Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, wrote to The Economist about the state of Puerto Rico’s finances:

‘Deal of the year’ for a public private partnership

December 9, 2013

The Bond Buyer has awarded its annual top prize for a muniland deal to a public private partnership (P3) that contracted with the Indiana Finance Authority to build the East End span of the Ohio River Bridges Project:

Reforming Pennsylvania’s distressed municipalities

December 6, 2013

I met a muniland superstar, Pennsylvania State Senator John Eichelberger, in Philadelphia while taping a final segment on distressed municipalities for Pennsylvania Cable News (PCN). The series, hosted by PCN’s Corinna Vecsey Wilson, brought together municipal officials, state legislators and policy experts to examine the condition of the state’s distressed communities and look at what solutions might be available.

The market reaction to Detroit’s bankruptcy ruling

December 4, 2013

Fitch Ratings managing director Amy Laskey talked to Fox Business about how Detroit is a unique story in muniland. Fitch published a research note on the bankruptcy ruling and concluded that Detroit’s ruling would not lead to a “spate” of local bankruptcies in Michigan:

Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy – How it happened

December 3, 2013

Detroit was ruled eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday. Twitter coverage of the federal eligibility hearing tracked the history. Here are the highlights:

Will Puerto Rico’s contracting economy lead to default?

December 2, 2013

Justin Vélez-Hagan is the executive director of the National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce, a small non-profit not to be mistaken with the much larger Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce.  Vélez-Hagan argues in a recent Forbes opinion piece that Puerto Rico must default on its debt:

America’s Thanksgiving

November 27, 2013

This week we give thanks to those who have worked to ensure a clean and beautiful environment in America. We are fortunate that our air and water is sanitary and safe. It is healthy for us and it has profound economic consequences for the nation.