Talking to Delaware’s governor about spending

November 11, 2013

I spend almost no time looking at the balance sheets of the healthiest states in muniland. They happily chug along collecting taxes and providing services, with rarely anything newsworthy to make me crack their books. When I was contacted last week to do an interview with Delaware’s Governor Jack Markell, I wondered if there was even anything I wanted to discuss about his AAA-rated state.

Detroit bankruptcy hearing – Closing arguments

November 11, 2013

Tweets from the final day in the federal trial to determine if Detroit is eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection:

Detroit bankruptcy hearing – Day 8

November 7, 2013

It was the last day of testimony in Detroit’s bankruptcy eligibility hearing. Here are some tweets leading up to the closing arguments on Friday:

Tweets from the Bloomberg muniland conference

November 7, 2013

Detroit bankruptcy hearing – Day 7

November 7, 2013

It is a real hand-to-hand fight in Detroit as creditors seek to establish that emergency manager Kevyn Orr did not conduct “good faith” negotiations prior to filing Chapter 9 bankruptcy for the city. It’s surprising that the city is not arguing that there were too many creditors to negotiate. The bankruptcy code allows a debtor to use this provision to escape conducting negotiations. Here are tweets from Tuesday:

Detroit bankruptcy hearing – Day 6

November 4, 2013

The sixth day of Detroit’s bankruptcy eligibility hearing was about whether the city negotiated in good faith with creditors. Detroit’s emergency manager Kevyn Orr (@MotownEM) returned to the stand to continue his testimony. Orr was appointed emergency manager on March 14, 2013. Here is the coverage from journalists and others on Twitter:

Infrastructure requires funding; Where will it come from?

November 1, 2013

Twitter was abuzz over a chart that was posted on FT’s Alphaville. Quack, quack, quack went Twitter, we need infrastructure spending to boost the economy! Of course nobody mentioned that Republicans, who recently shut down Congress to prove a point, are loath to increase spending. So where could additional money for infrastructure spending come from?

Muniland’s Central Transparency Platform: My survey

November 1, 2013

The MSRB has published a concept release about how it should design the new Central Transparency Platform (CTP). For the first time ever in muniland it will also gather and collect information on bids and offers before bond transactions occur (pre-trade). This information will be made available to the public. Here is how the MSRB describes the project:

Puerto Rico’s bond market and its ratings: How bad it is?

October 30, 2013

Puerto Rico’s creditworthiness continues to decline as its economy contracts, but its ratings have remained at the Baa3 and BBB- level (the lowest investment grade rating). Moody’s says it affirmed its rating because Puerto Rico’s government has taken substantial steps to raise tax revenues.

Detroit’s bankruptcy hearing – Day 5

October 29, 2013

On Tuesday Detroit’s emergency manager Kevyn Orr returned to the witness stand to be grilled by creditor attorneys. This is likely to be some of the most important testimony of the eligibility trial.