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Archive for the ‘municipal finance’ Category

The Bloomberg Manifesto

Posted by Larry Doyle on August 7th, 2013 9:10 AM |

Love him or hate him, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg may be a lot of things but one thing he is not is a dope.

With his final days in office as the mayor of our largest city a mere few months away, he issued a statement yesterday that put the voters of NYC and the media on guard as to the most critical issue facing NYC and, for that fact, many other cities as well. What issue is this? Pension costs and the impact of those upon future generations in light of corruption, mismanagement, and special interests occupying far too much space in our political process.

The Bloomberg Manifesto — my description — provides compelling advice not only for the voters of New York City but to residents of most cities, states, and towns across our nation. Over and above that, his message can be adapted to our personal situations, as well, in terms of properly preparing for our own future needs.

His statement is a little lengthy but provides a healthy serving of sense on cents. I strongly recommend.  (more…)

Detroit Files Chapter 9: What Lies Ahead?

Posted by Larry Doyle on July 19th, 2013 12:23 PM |

With no surprise to absolutely anybody, the City of Detroit filed bankruptcy yesterday via Chapter 9.

How does an entity such as Detroit get to the point of being 18 billion in debt? Well, I addressed that point a month ago in writing, Detroit: D is for Disaster.

There will be years worth of likely challenging negotiations and contested legal battles among Detroit’s creditors (primarily the pensioners and bondholders). Those within the municipal bond market and beyond will be watching this play out with bated breath. (more…)

Parking in Chicago: Two Minutes for Two Bits

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 25th, 2013 8:35 AM |

Do you ever get to the point when you think your life is one large windshield and every bird in the world has taken a liking to you?

Let’s take a break from trying to decipher the nuances and obfuscations in all too many statements emanating from the Federal Reserve system and focus on simple matters of everyday life.

To do just that, let’s navigate to the Windy City and the state of Illinois and revisit a chilling comment left here the other day by a regular reader: (more…)

Detroit: D is for DISASTER

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 18th, 2013 10:29 AM |

Those in Washington and elsewhere have little interest in drawing attention to the municipal disaster that is the City of Detroit, Michigan.

While nobody likes dealing with disasters, there is no other single appropriate word to describe this once proud burgeoning metropolisAs recently reported by The Wall Street Journal,

The city of Detroit’s manifold problems are coming to a head. Emergency manager Kevyn Orr warned the city’s 150 or so creditors and unions on Friday that Chapter 9 bankruptcy is in the offing if they don’t accept the steep cuts he’s presented. (more…)

More on Municipal Malfeasance

Posted by Larry Doyle on August 15th, 2012 7:01 AM |

We should never discount the lengths to which some will go to fund a supposed immediate need via an exorbitant future expense. I highlighted specifics of just such a reality a few days back in writing Joel Thurtell Shames Poway, CA Financing.

What do others think of the financing Poway and other municipalities have undertaken? Not much. Bloomberg highlights further details of this horrendous situation in writing, California Schools Barring Taxes Push Bills to 2051,

California school districts are financing projects by pushing debt payments as far as 40 years into the future, defying a warning from the Los Angeles County treasurer while incurring interest that dwarfs principal by 10- to-1 or more.  (more…)

Joel Thurtell Shames Poway, CA Financing

Posted by Larry Doyle on August 10th, 2012 7:56 AM |

Do not discount the lengths to which some will go to satisfy a perceived current need while screwing future generations with an exorbitant — dare I say usurious — bill.

Just another day atop Capitol Hill, you think? No, for this scandalous behavior let’s navigate to Poway, California where town leaders recently utilized a capital appreciation bond to finance selected school operations.

How do capital appreciation bonds work? Well if you wanted any evidence as to the ignorance of the American public and the willingness of local pols to go to any lengths to feed the pigs then this story truly takes the cake.  (more…)

Taibbi: Wall Street Bribes, Bid-Rigging & Collusion

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 22nd, 2012 2:07 PM |

There are many markets on Wall Street with very serious ethical issues. From my perspective, no market over the last number of decades has been more ethically challenged than the world of municipal finance.

In the spirit of fairness, I would maintain once again that the overwhelming percentage of people on Wall Street in general and municipal finance specifically are very good, decent people. Regrettably, though, the premise of fair and ethical dealings within many markets and certainly municipal finance has gotten so blurred as to be unidentifiable.

In a MUST READ commentary that pulls back the cloak on the bribes, bid-rigging and collusion within the municipal finance markets, Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi provides a chilling look into this corner of Wall Street. (more…)

State Budgets: Day of Reckoning

Posted by Larry Doyle on December 19th, 2010 9:09 PM |

For those who may have missed CBS News 60 Minutes this evening, there was a fabulous segment on the impending disasters within our municipal finance sector. This piece entitled State Budgets: Day of Reckoning runs for approximately 14 minutes and is a MUST SEE.

The problems embedded within a number of states and across hundreds–if not thousands–of local municipalities are not going away. Will Uncle Sam need to provide another trillion dollar bailout? Will ‘red states’ be asked to bail out ‘blue states’, perhaps starting with Illinois? Let’s navigate.

Larry Doyle

Please subscribe to all my work via e-mail, an RSS feed, on Twitter or Facebook.

I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own and not those of Greenwich Investment Management. As President of Greenwich Investment Management, an SEC regulated privately held registered investment adviser, I am merely a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

Illinois and Loan Sharks

Posted by Larry Doyle on December 13th, 2010 7:10 AM |

Those strapped for cash will go to great lengths to buy time and seek relief. This reality is not pleasant but it is reality. In a world awash in a sea of debt, the debtors will continually be faced with the prospects of devaluing, defaulting, or restructuring their debts. Prior to defaulting or restructuring, debtors will often resort to “unique strategies” to postpone the day of reckoning.

This reality very often plays out at the individual level or the small business level. When large corporate entities are forced to “unique strategies” to continue operations, that typically is not a very good sign. But what about municipalities? What does it mean when a city, state, or town is forced to a “unique strategy” in order to continue operations? Not a very good sign either, right? Right.

Well, indications are that the state of Illinois is resorting  to a “unique strategy” and “paying up” in order to get short term financing. (more…)

Bruce Malkenhorst Should Thank Robert Rizzo

Posted by Larry Doyle on July 24th, 2010 10:15 AM |

Bruce Malkenhorst must be a very happy man today and for that he should thank Robert Rizzo.

Who is Malkenhorst? Who is Rizzo? What is the story here?

Readers may recall that 14 months ago, Malkenhorst, a former municipal employee in Vernon, CA was exposed as the recipient of a sweet little ‘half million dollar pension’ connected to his duties in the bustling metropolis of Vernon, CA. How bustling? Vernon, a community in southern California, has a total population of approximately 100 citizens.

Malkenhorst and his cronies in Vernon singlehandedly redefined the concept of municipal fiscal abuse. I highlighted this story and accompanying unbelievable details a year ago in writing a story which an inordinate number of readers have reviewed entitled California’s $100, 000 Club.

This week, Malkenhorst and his pals in Vernon must have partied real hard and toasted Robert Rizzo all week long. Why is that? (more…)

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