Rebuild America

The United States Conference of Mayors released a survey Tuesday focused on metropolitan transportation investments. Generally the take-away is that the mayors want less money spent on highways and more spent on cities’ transport needs.

From the survey:

• Ninety-eight percent of mayors point to investment in affordable, reliable transportation as an important part of their cities’ economic recovery and growth.

• Three in five mayors said they would not support an increase in the federal gas tax if federal transportation funding were allocated among programs in the same proportions that it is today.

• Ninety percent of the mayors urged reforms in federal transportation programs to allow cities and their metropolitan areas to receive a greater share of federal funds directly.

• More than three in five mayors have established a dedicated local funding source for transportation improvements, which would enable them to meet federal transportation project matching requirements.

Muni sweep

Dexia Tower, Brussels It’s a busy morning in muniland. Here are several big stories to get the day started.

Bloomberg’s Bob Ivry has written an excellent expose of why the French and Belgium bank, Dexia, borrowed more from the Federal Reserve in the financial crisis than any other institution.

Why is Dexia important for muniland? Dexia owned a bond insurer, FSA, that provided insurance and guarantees for a big swath of the municipal market. No funding for Dexia equaled no funding for many municipalities. The markets were teetering on the brink and a few semi-solvent institutions kept them afloat. Dexia was one we hadn’t heard much about until now. More to come on this big story.

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