Monday, January 9, 2017

Chicago hits the debt markets

Chicago Tribune:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pitching Wall Street investors on the latest city borrowing plan, a $1.2 billion package that, like previous versions, pushes hundreds of millions of dollars of debt into the future at higher costs to taxpayers.
The mayor is continuing scoop-and-toss borrowing, which involves paying off old bonds with the proceeds from new ones — a practice akin to taking out another mortgage on a house to pay off the old mortgage, kicking payments down the road. An Emanuel budget spokeswoman said this year marks the last scoop-and-toss bond issue.

The administration also said it'll be the last time the city will borrow money to pay for a portion of routine legal settlements and judgments, adding millions in interest to what are short-term expenses. Some of that debt will take the form of taxable bonds, which carry higher interest rates. That's because the federal government doesn't allow the issuance of tax-free bonds for what are considered yearly operating expenses.
Not all cities have not declared their borrowing needs yet, and we have to consider a rush to the debt markets by our  mostly bankrupt cities. 

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