Fallout: The Financial Crisis

States expected to take on more debt

Marketplace Staff Jan 1, 2010
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Fallout: The Financial Crisis

States expected to take on more debt

Marketplace Staff Jan 1, 2010
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TEXT OF STORY

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: I’ll bet a lot of states and cities want to forget 2009 ever happened. Tax revenues sputtered, budget holes widened. So governments took on debt — a lot of debt. More than $410 billion in new municipal bonds were issued last year. And the borrowing’s likely to continue, as Chicago Public Radio’s Adriene Hill reports.


ADRIENE HILL: Illinois has plans to issue nearly $3.5 billion in bonds next week to help fill a budget deficit. And that’s just a tiny piece of the $450 billion local governments across the country are expected to raise next year in the bond markets.

Michael Decker is with the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

MICHAEL DECKER: I think there’s pressure on states and localities to continue to invest in capital projects like transportation facilities, new school construction, water and sewer and other kind of infrastructure facilities, even though they are facing fiscal constraints.

Illinois has had its credit rating battered recently.

But, says Tom Doe of Municipal Market Advisors, that shouldn’t dampen the appetite for state-issued bonds.

TOM DOE: The reason is that even though for the trouble that, say, Illinois is facing right now, there is a perception that there is a — not to be too Pollyanna about it — there is a better day ahead.

Doe says bonds from states with lower credit ratings often pay higher yields, making them more attractive to investors.

In Chicago, I’m Adriene Hill for Marketplace.

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