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NEWS
By Laura Smitherman and Laura Smitherman,Sun reporter | July 12, 2008
Wall Street analysts reaffirmed yesterday Maryland's coveted AAA bond rating, even as Comptroller Peter Franchot released tax revenue figures showing sagging finances. The three major bond-rating agencies - Fitch Ratings, Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's - gave Maryland the AAA rating in advance of the state's $415 million bond sale planned for next week, according to state Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp. The top rating, a sign of confidence in the state's financial stewardship, typically means the state can obtain lower interest rates, saving taxpayers money.
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NEWS
July 28, 2014
As a city homeowner and transit user, I am extremely pleased to see that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is fighting to secure the Red Line ("Mayor reaffirms city's support for Red Line," July 24). If Baltimore is to be competitive in the years ahead, it needs a greatly improved transit network, particularly at a time when so many Americans are choosing to invest in walkable urban communities with strong public transportation options. The Red Line is as integral to attracting 10,000 new families as part of the mayor's continuing efforts to reduce property taxes and improve the overall fiscal health of the city, as evidenced by our recently improved bond rating.
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NEWS
By Marina Sarris and Marina Sarris,Staff Writer | February 12, 1993
The governor, comptroller and treasurer sought yesterday to calm fears caused by reports that Maryland's top-notch credit rating may be in trouble.They issued a letter saying they expected the state to keep its high bond rating, which allows the government to borrow money at low interest rates and thereby save taxpayer dollars.But the trio did not deny a legislative memo that said the Standard & Poor's Corp., a bond-rating agency, has considered placing Maryland on a "credit watch" because of its budget problems.
BUSINESS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | July 8, 2014
Maryland kept its coveted AAA bond rating this week, an accomplishment that allows it to continue borrowing cash more cheaply than most states. Gov. Martin O'Malley heralded the rating from New York bond agencies Tuesday as proof of his sound fiscal stewardship of Maryland. He pointed out that only seven states kept a credit rating that high throughout the recession. "Fiscal responsibility, and taking a balanced approach to investments and cuts, are essential to strengthening our economy," O'Malley said in a statement.
NEWS
By Lynn Anderson and Lynn Anderson,SUN STAFF | February 27, 2002
With an improved budget forecast in hand, Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens traveled to New York City yesterday to two Wall Street bond-rating firms in hopes of landing the best bond rating in the market. The county's bond rating - and its ability to raise money to fund road, school and sewer improvements - depend upon such annual visits. Owens and other county officials were scheduled to meet with financiers at Standard and Poor's and Moody's Investors Service, with an agenda that included the county's improved 2002 budget outlook.
NEWS
By Steven Kreytak and Steven Kreytak,CONTRIBUTING WRITER | February 5, 1998
Howard County is refinancing one-quarter of its debt -- a move that officials say will save $3.43 million by locking in lower interest rates for the next several years.The refinancing of $132.7 million worth of bonds takes advantage of current low interest rates in the bond market and Howard's new triple-A bond rating -- the highest possible -- that also qualifies the county for lower rates.Dale Neubert, the county finance director, equates the move with refinancing a home mortgage. "We've just refinanced our house," she said.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Baltimore Sun reporter | February 16, 2010
Howard County's coveted AAA bond credit rating was renewed for the 13th consecutive year by the three New York bond rating houses, county officials announced Tuesday. The rating means the county can borrow money at the lowest available interest rates because investing in county bonds is considered to have the lowest level of risk for purchasers. Fewer than 30 jurisdictions nationwide out of about 3,000 receive the rating each year. County executive Ken Ulman, a Democrat who is planning to run for re-election this year, said the rating shows that he runs a "disciplined government that is conservative when it comes to spending and pro-active when it comes to cutting costs."
EXPLORE
January 3, 2012
Harford County's AAA bond rating was reaffirmed by rating agencies Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings, Harford County Executive David R. Craig announced Tuesday. The two agencies upgraded the county in 2010, and the confirmation of the AAA ratings are the result of a review of the county's fiscal management practices and economic outlook, as well as meetings with the county executive and members of his administration. Standard & Poor's also reaffirmed its AA+ rating for the county.
NEWS
February 22, 2010
Howard County's coveted AAA bond credit rating was renewed for the 13th consecutive year by the three New York bond rating houses, county officials announced last week. The rating means the county can borrow money at the lowest available interest rates because investing in county bonds is considered to have the lowest risk for purchasers. Fewer than 30 jurisdictions nationwide out of about 3,000 receive the rating each year. County Executive Ken Ulman, a Democrat who is planning to run for re-election this year, said the rating shows that he runs a "disciplined government that is conservative when it comes to spending and pro-active when it comes to cutting costs."
NEWS
February 24, 2011
I was happy to read in the Feb. 23 Sun, that Maryland is one of only eight states with a coveted AAA credit ranking. ("Maryland maintains highest rating ahead of bond sale. ") Then, because I am retired and seriously ill, I went back to working on my complicated graph of which medicines I can afford to take and which I must discontinue come July 1. As part of what Governor O'Malley touts as his strong stand on "fiscal responsibility," he supports Senate Bill 87 and House Bill 72 (currently under consideration by the legislature)
NEWS
Editorial from The Aegis | March 11, 2014
Few aspects of modern life are as tedious as matters of finance. Sure, everyone understands what goes into taking out a five-year car loan then paying it off with interest in installments over the next 60 months. Credit cards are a little bit more complicated, and terms vary. Mortgages are something of a break point. Just about every homeowner has to make a monthly mortgage payment and has a vague idea that ratio of interest to principal in each payment varies with each passing month, but very few of us understand how the loan amortization schedule was derived.
NEWS
AEGIS STAFF REPORT | March 6, 2014
Harford County government has received top ratings from the nation's three major municipal bond rating agencies in advance of a $40 million bond sale scheduled for March 11. Standard & Poor's Ratings Services informed the county Tuesday it had upgraded Harford's rating to AAA from AA+, according to a county announcement. Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings had earlier rated the bonds at Aaa and AAA, respectively, ratings they have placed on Harford bonds since 2010. Harford County Executive David R. Craig and his top fiscal advisers met with all three agencies in New York over two days in January.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | February 26, 2014
Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot warned senators Wednesday that Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposal to divert $100 million a year from the state pension fund to next year's budget threatens the long-term health of the retirement system. The two officials — who make up two-thirds of the powerful Board of Public Works — made a rare joint appearance before the Senate budget committee to ask senators to find another way to balance the state budget. They cautioned that the agencies that rate the state's bonds are already concerned about the condition of the state's pension fund, saying the transfer of $100 million could prompt a reconsideration of the state's AAA bond rating.
NEWS
By George W. Liebmann | February 19, 2014
The state pension system is Maryland's financial Achilles heel and has been for decades. All bond rating services have noted that rising pension debt endangers the state's AAA bond rating, and the Pew Center on the States rates Maryland as among the most under-funded states. The pension board is a semi-professional board made up of 15 people, a third of whom have investment expertise. It is presided over by the state treasurer, who is elected by the General Assembly. Traditionally, state treasurers were boring but capable bankers.
NEWS
February 4, 2014
In 2011, Maryland's state government was facing significant budget challenges in both the short term and the long term. The lingering effects of the recession and the waning of federal stimulus funds had blown a hole of about $1.6 billion in the state's general fund budget for the next year. And the stock market crash coupled with a history of under-investment had caused a precipitous drop in the levels of funding for the state's employee pension systems, meaning big liabilities for the state in the decades ahead.
NEWS
By Mark Newgent | January 24, 2014
Yesterday, Governor O'Malley delivered his eighth - and thankfully - final state of the state address of his administration.   And, as usual, his speech was filled with so much that isn't so.  Now, I've done a few O'Malley fact checks over the years, including his recent tussle with Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and his lead balloon of a speech to the 2012 Democratic National Convention.  However, fact checking O'Malley's 2014 state...
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger and Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | July 19, 2013
Baltimore officials say Detroit's bankruptcy filing this week is a cautionary tale for the city that underscores the need to fix a $750 million structural deficit before the situation here grows similarly dire. "It is on my mind every day," Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Friday, the day after Detroit became the largest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy protection. "Once you know that's a possibility, you have to spend the rest of your time trying to prevent it. " Bankruptcy is not currently an option for Baltimore, or any jurisdiction in Maryland - the General Assembly has passed no law to authorize such a move.
NEWS
By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | June 17, 2013
Credit rating house Standard & Poor has assigned Anne Arundel County's bonds a AAA rating and upgraded its assessment of the county's fiscal outlook from "negative" to "stable," officials announced Monday. Moody's, another credit rating house, gave the bonds an Aa1 rating, and also upgraded the outlook from "negative" to "stable. " Moody's praised the county for rebuilding reserves, having a "modest debt profile" and a relatively diverse economy. Likewise, Standard & Poor's highlighted the county's diverse economy, low debt and its "large, but manageable, capital plan.
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