Last December I wrote about a project sponsored by California Treasurer Bill Lockyer that is now up and running:
In the past year, three California cities have filed for bankruptcy. This casts a pall on the bonds of other California cities, because investors wonder if they also contain buried fiscal issues. In an effort to create more transparency, a new open source ratings project was recently launched:
Responding to market concerns about municipal credit quality, the California State Treasurer’s Office has commissioned a San Jose State University economist and a government-bond research group, Public Sector Credit Solutions, to develop a default probability model for city bonds.
The “default probability model” (which is what most credit rating agencies use as a model) was created by former Moody’s executive Marc Joffe of Public Sector Credit Solutions.
The project is a great leap forward for presenting public data. Nothing else like it exists in muniland. Here what it contains: