Muni Minute: What You Need to Know About Chicago's $550M Water Deal

In the latest 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 take a look at Chicago's big water bond sale, which closes the books on a year-long liquidity crisis. The city will be coming to market with the highest-rated securities it has: bonds backed by a pledge of revenue from its resident's water bill payments.

BARNETT: Chicago will hit the market this week with a half a billion dollars of some of the highest rated paper it has, securities backed by a water revenue pledge. The city will re-offer about $450 million of floating rate securities and convert them to fixed rate, shedding bank credit support. Another $100 million will terminate swaps tied to the bonds. PNC is lead underwriter. With this deal, Chicago closes the books on a more than $2 billion liquidity crisis sparked last year when ratings downgrades triggered a potentially devastating financial crisis.

The water bonds have much better ratings that the city itself, whose GOs range from junk to the high triple-B range. The waters benefit from revenues secured by bill payments, which limits exposure to the city's pension and budget woes. S&P rates the bonds in the A range while Fitch and Kroll rate them in the double-A area and Moody's has them in the triple-B category, leaving Cornwood for as a head this Chicago deal. I'm Chip Barnett. This has been your Muni Minute.