What Clicked with Our Readers in 2016
Even before the Senate takes up the House Puerto Rico bill, the names of several individuals are being floated as possible candidates for the oversight board the legislation would create.
Puerto Rico bondholders have reason to be optimistic about overturning the island's debt payment moratorium in court, based on rulings by the judge handling most of the litigation.
Cook County Circuit Court Judge Neil H. Cohen concluded that employees hired before Aug. 23, 1989, enjoy a constitutional right to the subsidy to cover healthcare costs during retirement, a benefit long provided by the city. That's a blow to the city. Cohen did not specify the amount or nature of the protected subsidy.
A small Kentucky municipality's bond rating is sinking under the weight of a city-owned water park. Somerset saw its general obligation bond rating dropped to Baa2 from Baa1 because of park subsidies totaling $7.6 million since 2007, according to Moody's Investors Service.
Shrinking underwriting spreads may be threatening the municipal underwriting business, and underwriters, attorneys, financial advisors, and other market participants are thinking seriously about the causes and long-term implications of this reality.
Donald Trump's plans to dismantle the Dodd-Frank Act and impose a moratorium on new regulations could affect the municipal bond market.
Donald Trump's presidency and the Republican-controlled Congress set the stage for historic tax reform and increased spending on infrastructure next year, which has the potential to jeopardize the tax exemption for municipal bonds, according to market participants.
Oppenheimer & Co., WFG Investments, and E*TRADE are three of seven firms that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority fined a total of $412,500 for trading municipal securities below the minimum denomination.
Puerto Rico's Office of the Comptroller is conducting 24 investigations into government corruption on the island, the office reported.
U.S. municipal pensions, weakened by decades of underfunding, now face a demographic double-whammy: People are living longer and baby boomers are reaching retirement age. These two trends will heighten pressure on states and municipalities to increase revenues or reduce benefits to restore pension funding to sustainable levels.