• Friday, July 1, 2016 - 09:18


    --Key Budget Group Examines Fiscal Plans of Candidates
    --CRFB: Clinton Plan Doesn't Solve US Fiscal Problems
    --CRFB: Trump Agenda Would Lead To Ruinous Debt

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The fiscal plans of Hillary Clinton, the presumed Democratic presidential nominee, and Donald Trump, the expected Republican nominee, fail to confront the U.S.'s major fiscal challenges, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget concludes in a report issued this week.

    The 56-page CRFB report examines the budget policies of the two leading presidential candidates. It argues that Clinton's array of spending and revenue proposals would slightly worsen the nation's ten year deficit outlook.

  • Thursday, June 30, 2016 - 17:12


    * President Barack Obama late Thursday signed the Puerto Rico restructuring and oversight bill the Senate passed Wednesday night, PROMESA, into law, freezing all legal action by bondholders to get paid for past and future defaults as the long process of organizing a control board begins. The Puerto Rico government reportedly confirmed, as if any confirmation was needed, that it won't pay $2 billion in debt service Friday, causing the first big default on general obligation bonds since Arkansas's more than eight decades ago. S&P didn't wait until the big default to give one island entity, its electric power utility PREPA, a "D" for default Thursday, saying it wasn't impressed that the only way it made a $471 million payment Thursday was to borrow from the bondholders.

  • Thursday, June 30, 2016 - 08:45


    By Denny Gulino

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The U.S. Senate's vote late Wednesday to clear the way for Puerto Rico's supervised restructuring of its massive debt, provides crucial legal protection from the claims of bondholders, but does not prevent a massive default Friday, which will be a test for the U.S. market for municipal bonds.

    Even through all its travails leading up to this point, the various indexes that track investor attitudes toward U.S. muni debt in general have barely moved, showing the impending non-payment of what Puerto Rico owes investors, more than $2 billion, is being viewed as a unique event limited in scope, not a barometer of declining credit quality.

  • Wednesday, June 29, 2016 - 15:31


    --Senate Sets Aside Five Hours of Debate on Puerto Rico
    --Senate May Hold Two Procedural Votes Before Final Passage

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - U.S. Senate leaders reached an agreement to hold a final vote on Puerto Rico Wednesday evening on legislation to ease the island's financial and economic crisis.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Harry Reid announced the agreement on the Senate floor which paves the way for final Senate passage of the bill after up to five hours of debate and two procedural votes. The debate could be significantly shorter than that time.

    Final Senate passage of the bill only requires a simple majority, and since it will have no amendments will go to President Barack Obama for his signature no later than Thursday.

  • Wednesday, June 29, 2016 - 11:16


    --Senate Votes To Limit Debate On Puerto Rico Bill
    --Senate Paves Way For Final Passage of Key Legislation
    --President Obama Poised To Receive PR Bill By Thursday

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Senate cleared a key procedural hurdle Wednesday on legislation to ease Puerto Rico's financial and economic crisis, paving the way for final Senate passage of the bill no later than Thursday.

    The Senate voted 68 to 32 to end debate on the House-passed Puerto Rico bill without considering any amendments.

    The Senate could still debate the bill for up to 30 hours before moving to final passage. Senate leaders are now discussing when to schedule the final Senate vote.

    Final Senate passage of the bill only requires a simple majority.

  • Wednesday, June 29, 2016 - 10:20


    --Senate to Hold Key Procedural Vote at 10:30 AM

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Wednesday urged the Senate to advance legislation to ease Puerto Rico's economic and financial crisis, arguing that passage of the measure is essential by midnight July 1 in order for the island to avoid default.

    The Senate will hold a key procedural vote at 10:30 a.m. ET to concur with the House passed bill. Sixty votes will be required to clear this procedural hurdle, to limit debate on the House-passed bill to a maximum of 30 hours.

  • Wednesday, June 29, 2016 - 09:54


    By Denny Gulino

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Having forced GE Capital to shrink to a size that no longer can threaten the financial system in a crisis, the U.S. Financial Stability Oversight Board Wednesday lifted its designation of systemic importance that had brought with it a burden of expensive additional government regulation.

    The announcement came earlier than expected as GE Capital's selloff of financial assets took place sooner than had initially been anticipated.

    The non-bank SIFIs are now just two big insurance firms, AIG and Prudential.

  • Tuesday, June 28, 2016 - 16:52


    * U.S. stocks popped higher Tuesday in U.S. trading hours, as global investors' worst fears about last week's UK Brexit vote began to fade. Nevertheless, jitters lingered and at best, the rally in stocks and risk assets in general, was being viewed widely as a correction of the extreme downside overshoot seen in the wake of the Brexit vote, and not the start of a new trend. The S&P 500 closed up 1.78% at 2,036.09, after trading in a 2,006.67 to 2,036.09 range. On Monday, the index had closed below its 200-day moving average, currently at 2,021, but not below the psychological 2,000 mark. The CBOE's volatility index or VIX closed at 18.75 Tuesday, after trading in a 18.75 to 22.07 range.

  • Tuesday, June 28, 2016 - 16:26


    --Treasury Secretary Lobbies Democrats On PR Bill
    --'Growing Understanding' On Hill of PR Crisis
    --'Time Is Of The Essence' On Puerto Rico Bill

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew urged Congress Tuesday to pass "compromise" legislation that is designed to stabilize Puerto Rico, adding that while the bill under consideration is imperfect, it's also critically important.

    In comments to reporters on Capitol Hill after meeting with a group of Democrats from the Senate Finance Committee, Lew said he detects a "growing understanding" in Congress about the serious economic crisis in Puerto Rico.

    "The urgency is real ... .

  • Tuesday, June 28, 2016 - 15:19


    --Senate Majority Leader: Puerto Rico Bill Was 'Fully Negotiated'
    --Senate Minority Leader Slams GOP For Blocking Amendments, May Not Get 60 Votes

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid clashed Tuesday on the approach to dealing with legislation to ease Puerto Rico's economic and financial crisis, threatening passage of the measure which must be approved by midnight July 1 in order for the island to avoid default.

    In back to back briefings, McConnell said the House-passed bill had been "fully negotiated" between Congress and the White House and should be voted as is, while Reid insisted Democrats should be allowed to vote on a "couple of amendments" to the bill.

    Speaking first, McConnell said he is hop