WBEZ | bonds http://www.wbez.org/tags/bonds Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Illinois plans $800 million bond sale http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-plans-800-million-bond-sale-95279 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-January/2012-01-04/6289910064_3cfefc8825.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The state of Illinois is hoping investors will snap up $800 million worth of bonds next week. The investment world has not looked kindly on Illinois bonds in recent years as the state has struggled with a mountain of debt. Moody’s rates Illinois bonds the worst in the country, tied with California, and Standard &amp; Poor’s rates the state second-worst.</p><p>But Illinois’s director of capital markets, John Sinsheimer, said he’s hopeful lots of investors will be interested in these bonds.</p><p>"We’ve seen a lot of changes in the state and its finances to the good, with the tax increases that were approved last year, so we would anticipate the bonds will be well bid," Sinsheimer said.</p><p>The state plans to use the money from next week’s sale for capital projects like building schools and fixing roads. Sinsheimer said Illinois will sell another round of bonds in March.</p></p> Wed, 04 Jan 2012 19:12:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-plans-800-million-bond-sale-95279 Investors snap up $3.7 billion in Illinois bonds http://www.wbez.org/story/bonds/investors-snap-37-billion-illinois-bonds <p><p>Illinois officials say this week&rsquo;s bond sale went better than expected, but traders say the state is still paying a higher interest rate than any other state in the country.</p><p>Illinois bonds are rated the worst in the country by Moody&rsquo;s &ndash; reflecting the state&rsquo;s inability to pay its bills and its big pension shortfall.</p><p>But that didn&rsquo;t stop investors from snapping up $3.7 billion worth of bonds yesterday.</p><p>John Sinsheimer is director of capital markets for Illinois. He says investors were reassured by the state&rsquo;s recent income tax hike, but that&rsquo;s not enough.</p><p>&quot;Their concerns were really focused on can we keep the momentum that we&rsquo;ve got right now, can we keep that going forward and of course we believe that we can,&quot; Sinsheimer said.</p><p>Sinsheimer says the bonds will pay on average almost three percentage points more than equivalent U.S. Treasury bonds. He says it&rsquo;s a little better than Illinois officials expected just a few weeks ago. <br /><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 24 Feb 2011 21:10:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/bonds/investors-snap-37-billion-illinois-bonds Illinois bond sale will test investor appetite http://www.wbez.org/story/bonds/illinois-bond-sale-will-test-investor-appetite <p><p>The State of Illinois will find out this week how willing investors are to buy the state&rsquo;s bonds, which are rated the lowest in the country by Moody&rsquo;s. The state plans to sell $3.7 billion worth of bonds as early as tomorrow to make this year&rsquo;s pension payment. &nbsp;<br /><br />Brian Battle is a director with the Chicago-based investment advisory firm Performance Trust Capital Partners. He says this move to pay current obligations with borrowing is just a short-term fix that does nothing to solve the state's longer-term pension problem. &nbsp;<br /><br />&quot;It&rsquo;s taking one credit card and paying off a different one,&quot; Battle says. &quot;You owe the money to the pension plan? Oh, now abracadabra, you owe the money to the bond holders. That is known as a budget gimmick. This is not known as a typical way to manage your pension liabilities.&quot; &nbsp;<br /><br />Battle says because the state&rsquo;s bonds are rated so poorly, Illinois will likely have to pay investors the highest interest rate of any state. <br /><br />And the sale won&rsquo;t do anything to fill the state&rsquo;s pension shortfall from prior years. That totals about $86 billion.<br /><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 22 Feb 2011 21:57:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/bonds/illinois-bond-sale-will-test-investor-appetite Illinois governor says SEC inquiry won't hurt planned bond sale http://www.wbez.org/story/bonds/illinois-governor-says-sec-inquiry-wont-hurt-planned-bond-sale <p><p>Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says an inquiry by the Securities and Exchange Commission won&rsquo;t interfere with the state&rsquo;s plan to sell bonds next month. <br /><br />Kelly Kraft, a spokeswoman for the governor, says the SEC began the inquiry in September. She says the agency is checking into statements Illinois officials made last spring about potential long-term savings from reforming the pension system. <br /><br />Last summer, the SEC charged the state of New Jersey with failing to disclose to bond investors that it was underfunding its pension plans. Quinn says the Illinois inquiry probably grew out of that effort to improve disclosure to municipal bond investors. <br /><br />&quot;We want to make sure that we answer any and all questions,&quot; Quinn said. &quot;We&rsquo;re totally confident that everything we do here is done the right way and that&rsquo;s the way it will always be.&quot;<br /><br />Illinois plans to sell $3.7 billion worth of bonds on February 17th to make its current pension payments. Quinn says the state should have no problem attracting investors. <br /><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 25 Jan 2011 20:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/bonds/illinois-governor-says-sec-inquiry-wont-hurt-planned-bond-sale Talk of Illinois tax hike gives hope to bond investors http://www.wbez.org/story/ashley-gross/talk-illinois-tax-hike-gives-hope-bond-investors <p><p>A possible income-tax hike in Illinois may have some taxpayers grumbling, but bond investors say it&rsquo;s a good step. <br /><br />California is in terrible financial shape, but the bond-rating agency Moody&rsquo;s says we are even worse. It rates Illinois bonds the lowest in the country. <br /><br />But bond experts say a move to raise the income tax could help stave off another downgrade. Brian Battle works for the Chicago bond-trading company Performance Trust Capital Partners. He says a tax hike gives bondholders more hope that Illinois won&rsquo;t default on its debt. &nbsp;<br /><br />&quot;This is the first positive news we&rsquo;ve had since last summer about Illinois being proactive about doing something to plug this budget gap that we have and now we need to see what they&rsquo;re going to do about it long-term,&quot; Battle says.<br /><br />Battle says bond investors want reassurance that the state can pay its debts many years from now. So he says the market won&rsquo;t really get interested in Illinois bonds until state leaders start cutting the budget in addition to raising revenue.</p></p> Sat, 08 Jan 2011 06:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/ashley-gross/talk-illinois-tax-hike-gives-hope-bond-investors Madigan says Cubs deal off, but Cubs say it's still on http://www.wbez.org/story/bonds/cubs-owners-rally-support-wrigley-field-renovations <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/ricketts.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The owners of the Chicago Cubs are trying to gain public support for their plan to get government-issued bonds to renovate Wrigley Field.</p><p>Cubs' Chairman Tom Ricketts addressed the media Tuesday morning in a room full of business and labor leaders. Ricketts thanked a number of them that showed up at the media conference, including Teamsters Local, Chicago and Cook County Building Trade, Chicago Bricklayers Local 21, Plumber Local 130.</p><p>Ricketts wants to take $200 million in bonds from the state and repay the money over time with taxes on Cubs tickets. He has so far failed to get support for his plan from Chicago Mayor Richard Daley or Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.</p><p>&quot;This public-private partnership would, in the long-run, create a significantly larger economic base in Wrigleyville and higher tax revenue for all levels of government,&quot;&nbsp;Ricketts said.</p><p>Ricketts says he's not certain what would happen structurally to the 96-year-old Wrigley Field if legislators don't approve his bond plan. The framework has been patched over for years. Ricketts said one thing that's not an option is moving the Cubs out of Wrigley Field.</p><p>Tuesday afternoon in Springfield, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan told reporters the Chicago Cubs were pulling their financial plan. A Ricketts' family spokesman responded by saying their plan stands and nothing has changed.</p><div>&quot;As we discussed in our press conference this morning with the state's labor leaders, creating jobs and economic development is a top priority and we are working with elected officials to draft legislation and determine the best way to move forward as expeditiously as possible,&quot; Dennis Culloton, a spokesperson for the Ricketts family, said in a written statement. &quot;Nothing has changed and we are hard at work.&quot;</div></p> Tue, 16 Nov 2010 21:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/bonds/cubs-owners-rally-support-wrigley-field-renovations