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    Entries in Brexit (2)

    Friday
    Jul012016

    The Week in Public Finance: Rescuing Puerto Rico, Brexit Fallout and Minimum-Wage Trends

    A roundup of money (and other) news governments can use.
    BY  JULY 1, 2016

    Puerto Rico’s New Path

    Congress this week has reached an agreement on a rescue bill for Puerto Rico. The troubled territory is set to default for a third time over the past year on a debt payment due today. The legislation, which was signed by President Obama Thursday, follows a long-running debate about whether Congress should intervene at all.

    The bill, called the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act, or PROMESA, passed the House of Representatives earlier this month and the Senate on Wednesday. The legislation would allow the island a path to restructure its more than $70 billion in debt while installing a financial control board to govern its finances. It was modeled after similar legislation for Washington, D.C., whose finances were also subject to a control board two decades ago.

    The Takeaway: The legislation won’t stop Puerto Rico from defaulting on its $2 billion debt payment Friday. But the fact that it now has a path to solvency -- however murky and long -- delivers a message of certainty to municipal market investors. To be sure, investors will take a hit and Puerto Rico’s officials will lose immediate control of the island’s financial future. But the process will be far more orderly than it has been in the past year or so. Litigation promised “to be endless and to consume scarce resources of the beleaguered commonwealth’s government," former New York Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch pointed out in an op-ed this week

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    Friday
    Jun242016

    The Week in Public Finance: What Brexit Means for Muni Bonds, Pension Projections and More

    A roundup of money (and other) news governments can use.
    BY  JUNE 24, 2016

    What Brexit Means for the Municipal Bond Market

    On Thursday, Britain voters shocked the world by deciding to exit the European Union in a vote that became known as "Brexit," a combination of Britain and exit. The result, which prompted Prime Minister David Cameron to say he will step down in the coming months, has implications for global financial markets, which in turn can affect the U.S. municipal market.

    Even before the results of the vote were in, the uncertainty of the outcome was affecting markets everywhere. Global stocks and some corporate bonds had slumped while demand for traditionally safer assets like U.S. Treasuries and municipal bonds had “soared,” according to Ivan Gulich, senior vice president of the financial firm Loop Capital Markets.

    This increased demand for municipal bonds has driven down interest rates, which is good for governments looking to borrow money. For example, the interest rate on a 30-year Treasury bond is currently lower than it was even in the wake of the Lehman Brothers' 2008 bankruptcy that roiled the corporate market and drove demand toward government securities.

    “What was initially seen as an issue for Europe has rattled markets around the world,” wrote Gulich this week in an analysis.

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