Amtrak would be on the hook for about $150 million if either Standard & Poor's or Moody's Investors Service significantly downgrades Ambac Assurance Corp., which insures $900 million of the railroad's so-called economically defeased leases, an Amtrak official told a congressional panel yesterday.

"The level of exposure is probably about $150 million, but I think if [a downgrade] were to happen [the amount due would be] subject to negotiation," Amtrak president and chief executive officer Alexander Kummant told members of the House Appropriations Committee's transportation subcommittee at a hearing on fiscal 2009 funding for the railroad.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.