Muni Minute: A Golden Time for the Golden State

In the newest installment of Muni Minute – The Bond Buyer's 60-second video series that examines a top municipal market story that will impact the coming week – we focus on the state of California's upcoming $2.7 billion general obligation bond sale, which will account for roughly 42% of the week's upcoming issuance. While it feels like forever, it was just seven years ago when the state had ratings in the BBB and single A range. Now its ratings are in the AA range.

VOICE OVER: The great sate of California, who has issued the most bonds out of all the sates so far this year, is getting ready to make it's mark on the municipal market again - this time with a colossal $2.7 billion general obligation sale scheduled for Tuesday. The sale will mostly be refinancing, as the amounts are expected to be 2.085 billion of refunding with the rest being new money, according to the state treasurer's office, who have not been shy about refunding everything they possibly can while interest rates are low. A fresh upgrade to AA-minus from A-plus by Fitch will help as well.

The Golden State has become a gold standard for issuers, much different from the years following the great recession of 2008 when the state controller issued IOUs to school districts and the bonds had triple B and single A ratings. Belt tightening, tough decisions, a rainy day fund, and paying off bonds issued during previous administrations to fund operations has altered rating agencies' view of the state.

California paper is very much in demand, but with all the positive headlines surrounding the state, everyone is expecting the bonds to sell like hot cakes. I'm Aaron Weitzman, and this has been your Muni Minute.