municipal bonds

11 Stories

Biggest Broke City Can Enter Bankruptcy: Judge

Stockton, Calif., allowed to pay less to bondholders

(Newser) - The biggest US city to file for bankruptcy was allowed to press ahead today despite outcry from its creditors, the Wall Street Journal reports. A federal judge approved Chapter 9 protection for Stockton, Calif., saying it "will not be able to perform its obligations to its citizens" without bankruptcy... More »

Buffett Dumps Municipal Bonds, Spooks Investors

Berkshire cancels credit default swaps on municipal bonds

(Newser) - Warren Buffett isn't betting on the health of cities, states, and towns anymore. Berkshire Hathaway has backed out of a number of credit-default swaps insuring $8.25 billion in municipal bonds, sending shivers of doubt through investors who've been hungrily buying such bonds, the Wall Street Journal reports.... More »

Cash-Squeezed States Warn of Collapsing Infrastructure

Fed stimulus eyed as municipal bonds wither

(Newser) - Thousands of infrastructure projects across the country are on hold as states wrestle with budget crises, the New York Times reports. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger warned yesterday that California was “on a track toward disaster" as school, bridge, and road construction projects ceased, the victims of the credit squeeze and... More »

Goldman Urged Clients to Bet Against Bonds It Sold for Calif.

Could have cost taxpayers millions

(Newser) - Goldman Sachs charged the state of California millions of dollars to handle a bond issue, then told big clients to bet against those bonds, a move that could have cost taxpayers millions, according to a confidential report the company sent out in September. While the advice isn’t illegal, it’... More »

Credit Crunch Shuts Down State, City Projects

Projects shelved as municipal bond market dries up

(Newser) - The credit crisis is squeezing the life out of local governments, reports the New York Times. Cities and states have found themselves shut out of bond markets for the last 2 weeks, and big projects, from new hospitals to highway repairs, are being shelved or delayed. Analysts believe the days... More »

Bear Stearns Could Face Civil Charges

Regulators probing troubled bank's bond, mortgage practices

(Newser) - Bear Stearns has been warned it could face civil charges stemming from an SEC probe into its anti-competitive bidding for municipal bonds, the Wall Street Journal reports. The firm is also being investigated by the FTC for alleged violations of consumer protection laws involving its mortgage-servicing unit. Bear Stearns officials... More »

Municipalities Challenge Bond Ratings

Local officials say double standard cheats taxpayers

(Newser) - City and state officials are mounting a rebellion against bond rating firms they say are siphoning off billions of taxpayer dollars by giving them unfairly low credit ratings, the New York Times reports. Even though municipal bonds are generally safer than those issued by corporations, municipalities get lower credit scores,... More »

Buffett Offers to Save Municipal Lenders

Stocks rally, but companies may rebuff opportunistic Hathaway

(Newser) - Warren Buffett rode to the rescue today, though the color of his horse is in question. The Sage of Omaha offered to reinsure $800 billion worth of municipal bonds, resolving “in one stroke of a pen” the jitters plaguing the municipal debt market. But his plan is also a... More »

Buffett Moves Into Insuring Muni Bonds

Company will aid local governments, profit from credit crunch

(Newser) - Billionaire Warren Buffett is riding to the rescue of the municipal bond market—and taking advantage of an opportunity afforded by the credit crunch—by launching a municipal bond insurer, reports the Wall Street Journal. Berkshire Hathaway Assurance, which opens today in New York state, should make it cheaper for... More »

Subprime Waves Ripple Across Europe

Crises at German and Norwegian banks underscore exposure to US collapse

(Newser) - The ripples from the US subprime collapse continue to rock Europe as a group of German banks agreed to bail out troubled IKB Deutsche Industriebank, reeling from additional risk from US bond investments. Meanwhile, four Norwegian municipalities scrambled to recover after they they invested $156 million in now fading US... More »

Municipalities Feel Credit Market Pain

Unaffordable bonds mean projects stall— or taxes rise

(Newser) - Cities, towns, and schools are learning what would-be homeowners already know: the credit market stinks. Municipalities have grown addicted to financing projects with extremely low-interest bonds, but such cheap credit is hard to come by as bond insurers swing in the subprime wind, the Washington Post reports. Local governments either... More »

11 Stories