@WSJ reporter covering municipal bonds and public finance. Former reporter at Bloomberg and The Times-Picayune. I like sailing and fishing.

A Debt-Ratings Rift Rattles Chicago

wsj.com — The world's two largest ratings firms are divided in their view of Chicago's fiscal health as the city grapples with a $20 billion pension hole, a potential preview of battles expected to break out around the U.S. as retirement obligations mount.

A Lower-Risk Strategy for Muni Bonds

wsj.com — Investors often are encouraged to think about the long run. But with municipal bonds, it also could pay to focus on the near term. In recent months, investors have been lured by longer-term debt issued by U.S. cities, states and other government entities with yields that look relatively appealing in an era of low interest rates.

Moody’s Cuts Chicago’s Debt to Junk

wsj.com — Moody's Investors Service cut its rating on Chicago's debt to junk, citing expected increases in unfunded pension burdens after a ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court that overturned state pension changes. The ratings firm dropped Chicago debt two notches to Ba1 from Baa2, with a negative outlook, saying the city's options for reducing the growth of its retirement system liabilities "have narrowed considerably."

Latest Victim of California’s Drought: Water Bonds

Puerto Rico Lawmakers Reject Tax Overhaul

wsj.com — Puerto Rico legislators rejected a tax overhaul that officials have called critical to the U.S. commonwealth's effort to replenish government coffers, sending some bond prices to record lows. The price of Puerto Rico bonds issued last year touched 77.1 cents on the dollar Thursday after the vote by the island's House of Representatives.

Puerto Rico, Investors Enlist Ex-IMF Officials

wsj.com — The Puerto Rico government and the hedge funds that own its bonds are turning to former International Monetary Fund officials to help resolve a growing debt crisis that may require a restructuring more akin to Greece than a troubled city like Detroit.

For Some Bond Investors, Chicago Isn’t Their Kind of Town

wsj.com — A big pension shortfall is buffeting the Windy City. Fearing that the multibillion-dollar gap might undermine Chicago's finances, some bond investors and credit-ratings firms are becoming wary. Four pension funds in the nation's third-largest city are facing a combined funding gap of about $20 billion after years of underfunding and market losses during the recession.

It’s Crunch Time for Puerto Rico

wsj.com — As a deadline looms for Puerto Rico's cash-strapped power utility, investors are worrying about the financial health of the U.S. territory. Prices on some Puerto Rico bonds slumped to record lows last week amid concerns that problems at the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, known as Prepa, could be the harbinger of bigger trouble.

A Sailor’s Salary: $300,000, If He Works for Larry Ellison

wsj.com — A lawsuit against Larry Ellison 's sailing squad, which has led to the seizure of one of his million-dollar boats, is also revealing how much the Oracle Corp. founder is willing to spend to win the America's Cup: $300,000 a year for a rank-and-file sailor.

Muni Bonds Headed for a Rough Patch

wsj.com — Turbulence is in store for municipal-bond investors following a record run, as a gathering U.S. economic recovery pushes interest rates higher and issuance grows. In February, municipal debt posted its first monthly decline in returns since December 2013, bringing an end to a record-tying 13 consecutive months of gains.
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May 21, 2015

RT @scuttbutt: America’s Cup: Dean Barker named CEO, skipper of SoftBank Team Japan dlvr.it/9vTrnz

May 21, 2015

RT @munios_: City of Chicago General Obligation Bonds Refunding Series 2007E Refunding Series 2007F and Refundi... munios.com/e/SHHWO

May 21, 2015

RT @pdacosta: For foreseeable future, U.S. will face constrained, badly-targeted infrastructure budgets wsj.com/articles/quali… pic.twitter.com/ZnrWvndcQG

May 20, 2015

RT @AaronLucchetti: Five banks including JP Morgan, Citi, UBS to plead guilty to criminal charges, pay $5.6 Billion in FX, Libor Probe, wsj.com/articles/globa…

May 14, 2015

RT @d_harrison: Economists think Fed will raise rates in Sept. Investors, not so much. on.wsj.com/1A2WPNr

May 14, 2015

RT @robertwolf32: This @wsj Op Ed written over 4yrs ago time to fix our broken #infrastructure The U.S. Needs an Infrastructure Bank on.wsj.com/1tRBT3p

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