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U.S. Public Finance

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Research and analysis on 90% of public debt issued by state and local governments, hospitals, higher education institutions and other tax-exempt entities. 


  • 27 Jul 2015
    • Pension burdens increase moderately for top 50 US local governments by debt outstanding in FY 2013
      The median Moody’s Adjusted Net Pension Liability (ANPL) increased for 31 of the 50 largest local US governments by debt outstanding in fiscal 2013. In aggregate, the 2013 ANPLs for the top 50 rose 14% to $365 billion from $320 billion in fiscal 2012. Relative to revenues and to full value, 2013 ANPLs exhibited a moderate shift toward heavier burdens, with some outliers weighed by exceptionally large burdens... Press Release l Full Report
  • 24 Jul 2015
    • No defaults in 2014 in annual US municipal bond default study, but speculative-grade municipal credits increase
      While no bond defaults occurred in US public finance in 2014, the annual study shows an uptick in speculative-grade credits as balance sheet leverage increases and credit quality deteriorates in some municipalities. The study observes pressuring trends which have undermined the sector since the end of the recession. As a new normal emerges, severely stressed issuers might consider bankruptcy more seriously… Press Release l Full Report l Excel Data
  • 22 Jul 2015
    • Bailout for Puerto Rico by US unlikely; bankruptcy not a viable solution
      Our ratings assume no US federal payment on Puerto Rico’s debt and efforts on behalf of the commonwealth would have marginal near-term effects. Puerto Rico is seeking US Congressional permission to use measures of the US Bankruptcy Code. We believe this attempt to alleviate the commonwealth’s fiscal pressures is not worth the effort since Chapter 9 is unlikely to achieve a restructuring of all debt… Press Release l Full Report
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