Muni sweeps: Fiscal kabuki

Fiscal kabuki is frightening. From the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein:

“If the president doesn’t get serious about the need to address our fiscal nightmare, yeah, there’s a chance it could not happen,” John Boehner told Politico.

“It,” in this case, isn’t a golf game, or a bipartisan potluck. It’s a vote on the debt ceiling before the Treasury runs out of room to cover our debts.

Properly understood, what Boehner actually said is “if the president doesn’t get serious about the need to do what the Republican Party wants on fiscal policy” — note that allowing the Bush tax cuts to elapse would cut the deficit substantially, but wouldn’t calm Boehner — “yeah, there’s a chance I am prepared to trigger a fiscal nightmare.”

Awake yet?

More fiscal bad dreams.

From Reuters:

States are short $1.26 trillion in paying for public employee pensions and other retirement benefits, a gap that grew 26 percent in one year and will take many more years to wipe out, according to a report released on Tuesday.

A total of 31 states had pensions that were underfunded in fiscal 2009, the latest year for which data is available, up from 22 states a year earlier, the Pew Center on the States reported.

Muni sweeps: Show me the money!

I forget that the last recession was in the mid 2000′s.

We had a short, intense credit boomlet in between that and the crash of 2008.

The hangover from the housing and financial bubble has been tremendous.

Deficits, caused by the financial crisis,  are still a serious problem in muniland.

Remember that states must balance their budgets annually.

Here is a spreadsheet with the shortfall numbers for fiscal year 2012 from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The total shortfall for all states in 2012 is ~ $112 billion or approximately 17.6% of projected budgets.

Muni sweeps: Increasing the muni investor pool

It’s a glorious spring day in America and everything continues to bounce along. A little progress here and some fall back there. Oh and that unpleasant negative ratings watch on United States debt from Standard & Poor’s. Yeah that is not good. Welcome to a new week in muniland. The sun sets over a pond in Rogers, Arkansas, November 8, 2009. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

The sun sets over a pond in Rogers, Arkansas, November 8, 2009. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Increasing the muni investor pool:

Marketwatch has an article which frames the proposed Wyden and Coates federal legislation for muni tax-exemption as having the effect of shrinking the investor pool.

Muni sweeps: Strutting her stuff

Philly mummers 2009

She may not be the prettiest girl but at least she’s out there

The home of the famous Mummer’s parade struts its stuff for the bond markets.

The city of Philadelphia was named tops for transparency in a University of Illinois at Chicago survey of cities providing investors with financial information online.

Every municipality, like every person, has problems. Hiding them doesn’t instill confidence in investors. I’m glad to see Philly and other cities letting it all hang out. From the the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Muni sweeps

It’s Friday and America keeps chugging along.

We have no Federal budget, we are possibly shutting down the federal government and our national credit card is nearly maxed out.

And over here in muniland the road is still bumpy. Here is the sweep.

Municipal bond mutual funds continue to experience outflows, general obligation bonds interest rates tick up a little from slack demand and several Senators dust off an old, unpopular idea for taxation of muni bonds.

Transportation for America:    The Fix We’re In For: The State of Our Bridges

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