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CHICAGO (Standard & Poor's) March 23, 2015--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services is closely monitoring the reaction of the Chicago Board of Education (CBOE; A-/Negative) to possible swap termination payments in excess of $200 million following the downgrade of its general obligation (GO) debt to below 'BBB' by a another rating agency. While we view the possible trigger payments as pressuring the… More
CHICAGO (Standard & Poor's) March 18, 2015--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it lowered its long-term rating and underlying rating on Chicago Board of Education, Ill.'s general obligation (GO) bonds two notches to 'A-' from 'A+'. At the same time, we assigned our 'A-' rating to the board's series 2015 A, C, D, E, F, and G unlimited-tax GO dedicated alternate revenue bonds. The outlook is… More
CHICAGO (Standard & Poor's) April 9, 2015--After months of campaigning and uncertainty, Chicago (A+/Negative general obligation debt rating) can get back to the business of running itself. As such, we expect Mayor Rahm Emanuel's attention to be focused on the city's budget challenges, namely its ballooning pension obligation. During the course of the election -- and particularly during the runoff … More
California's finances are roaring back. Midway through the fiscal year, the state now expects its fiscal 2015 revenues to come in $2.6 billion—or 2.4%—higher than the budget assumed. History would suggest, however, that any fiscal renaissance will be temporary--the result of several favorable developments occurring simultaneously. More
Two years ago, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services took stock of California city governments in the wake of the Great Recession and found that the significant economic and budgetary pressure did not ultimately alter their overall credit quality. (See "Diving Under The Surface Of California City Credit Quality Reveals A Diverse Picture," published Dec. 19, 2012, on RatingsDirect.) The application… More
A review of several macroeconomic indicators might suggest that state and local government credit conditions are stronger than at any point in the past decade. More
Recent Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) proposals to change other postemployment benefits (OPEB) reporting could enhance the ability to compare OPEB liability across states. More
In early February, the newly elected Wayne Charter County, Mich., executive, Warren C. Evans raised concerns about the county's ongoing financial problems, highlighting liquidity concerns and the need for major structural fixes, without which a state takeover and bankruptcy could be considerations. Standard & Poor's Ratings Services views bankruptcy and a state takeover of the county as… More
We recently revised our price assumptions for Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude oil from its initial 2015 estimate of $70 per barrel (bbl) and $65 per bbl to $55 per bbl and $50 per bbl, respectively. More
On Sept. 12, 2014, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services concluded its rating reviews for over 4,000 U.S. local government credits, an undertaking occasioned by the adoption a year earlier of updated rating criteria. Our credit-by-credit approach to criteria implementation resulted in a wealth of data and comparative metrics. These data help illustrate how our ratings are determined, and the general … More
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has updated its scores for U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) based on its local GO criteria released Sept. 12, 2013. Overall, 111 of the 381 MSA scores changed. The scores were raised for 39 MSAs and lowered for 72. The changes were driven almost entirely by the change in the affected MSAs' employment growth score, which is calculated by comparing each… More
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services held an interactive, live webcast on Thursday, January 15, 2015, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time where we discussed the 2015 outlook for U.S. state and local governments.
In this CreditMatters TV segment, Managing Director Gabe Petek explains how job gains, wage growth, and an improving housing market point to favorable credit conditions for many state and local governments across the U.S. this year despite ongoing risks. Watch
NEW YORK (Standard & Poor's) March 25, 2015--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services today said it is reviewing its rating on Atlantic City, N.J.'s general obligation (GO) bonds outstanding based on the Emergency Manager's 60-day report released March 23, 2015. The report does not directly reference bankruptcy. However, it does identify possible deferrals in debt service payments, which could occur as … More
BOSTON (Standard & Poor's) Jan. 28, 2015--Providing a precise measure of the U.S. public finance direct bank loan market is challenging for a variety of reasons—but primarily because bank loans are not explicitly required to be disclosed because they are not securities. Nevertheless, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services sees issuers across the breadth of the municipal finance market meaningfully… More
In this CreditMatters TV segment, Standard & Poor’s Senior Director Jane Ridley discusses why the outcome of Detroit’s bankruptcy plan won’t affect municipal general obligation ratings across the U.S. Watch
In this CreditMatters TV segment, Standard & Poor’s Associate Director Carol Spain explains how declining oil prices and production could significantly affect cities in North Dakota, particularly in the Bakken Shale region. Watch
DALLAS (Standard & Poor's) Jan. 28, 2015--On Jan. 27, 2015, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its general obligation (GO) ratings on Atlantic City, N.J. to 'BB' from 'BBB+' and placed the rating on CreditWatch with negative implications. This rating action reflects our view of the state's recent appointment, by executive order, of an emergency manager and an emergency manager advisor. More
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services recently revised its price assumptions for Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil from its initial 2015 estimate of $70 per barrel (bbl) and $65 per bbl to $55 per bbl and $50 per bbl, respectively. With oil prices having declined over 50% since June 2014, the possibility of sustained lower prices will challenge the Texas economy and, by extension,… More
Since June 2013, when Detroit's Emergency Manager announced the city would not make upcoming debt service payments and was poised to file Chapter 9 bankruptcy should settlements with creditors not be reached quickly, Detroit's lawsuits and court battles have been in the headlines. During this time, the treatment of debt and pension/other postemployment benefit (OPEB) obligations has attracted… More
The Credit Scenario Builder provides an easy-to-read overview of the seven criteria factors we use to rate U.S. local government general obligation pledges and allows the user to create multiple scenarios for illustrative issuer credit ratings. This video provides a basic overview of how to use the … Watch
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services is updating its methodology and assumptions for assigning issuer credit ratings (ICRs) and issue credit ratings based on general obligation (GO) pledges of local governments in the United States. More
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