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NEWS
August 8, 2011
As Warren Buffett once observed, it takes about 20 years to build up a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. Last Friday's decision by Standard & Poor's to downgrade U.S. debt from AAA to AA+ was just that kind of hit - and the markets are showing their unhappiness with it today. One can debate S&P's decision-making process endlessly. It's telling that Moody's today reiterated its choice to keep the U.S. at AAA, citing the debt ceiling deal and signs of long-term economic improvement.
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BUSINESS
By Gus G. Sentementes, The Baltimore Sun | August 8, 2011
As the United States coped with the fallout of its first-ever credit downgrade, officials in Maryland were taking a wait-and-see approach Monday on the possible trickle-down effects on local governments' finances. Standard & Poor's has not cut the credit ratings for Maryland or any of its cities or counties in the wake of its decision last week to downgrade U.S. debt from AAA to AA+. But Maryland is on a short list of states that credit analysts believe could be affected by the federal downgrade, because its economy benefits disproportionately from federal agencies, contracts and employees.
NEWS
By Jim Rosapepe | July 20, 2011
Earlier this week, Moody's credit rating agency announced it is reviewing the credit of Maryland and four other AAA rated states in light of the debate in Washington about the possible default of U.S. government debt - even though Maryland pays its bills on time. It may seem myopic to focus on what U.S. government default would mean for Maryland, but our state's members of Congress should think about it as they consider the willingness of some Republicans in Congress to default rather than vote to raise the nation's debt limit.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | July 19, 2011
—A leading bond rating agency threatened Tuesday to downgrade Maryland's gold-plated credit rating because of the protracted debate over raising the nation's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. Moody's Investors Service announced it would review "for possible downgrade" the credit ratings of five states, including Maryland, that could be hit particularly hard if Congress fails to raise the nation's debt limit by the Aug. 2 deadline and defaults on its financial obligations. A downgrade would have a significant impact on interest rates . The Moody's warning came days before Maryland plans to borrow $718 million for school construction and to refinance old debt.
NEWS
By Nicole Fuller, The Baltimore Sun | March 15, 2011
Annapolis Mayor Joshua J. Cohen's proposed budget may require deep cuts to pass the City Council, with some members warning Tuesday that the 8 percent spending increase envisioned in the plan is untenable. The mayor's $86.2 million plan for next fiscal year also includes a variety of fee increases intended to shore up the city's depleted cash reserves. The council saw the proposal for the first time at Monday's meeting, and must approve a spending plan by June. "It's outrageously high," said Alderman Frederick M. Paone, the council's lone Republican.
NEWS
By Nicole Fuller, The Baltimore Sun | December 29, 2010
A prominent credit-rating firm has placed Annapolis on notice that the city's rating might soon be downgraded. Annapolis Mayor Joshua J. Cohen announced Wednesday that Moody's Investors Service has placed the city on a watchlist for a possible downgrade of its credit rating of general obligation bonds. The downgrade would affect about $79.3 million in debt, said city officials, citing Moody's. The city's credit rating is currently Aa1 — the second-highest rating in Moody's rating system.
NEWS
By Marta H. Mossburg | May 25, 2010
"You mean to tell me that the success of the economic program and my re-election hinges on the Federal Reserve and a bunch of f—— bond traders?" President Bill Clinton asked that question, according to Bob Woodward in "The Agenda." Mr. Clinton was referring to the fact that if bond traders did not like his programs, they could stop buying debt and send interest rates climbing, souring the economy. At the state level, Gov. Martin O'Malley is equally beholden to bond traders, who, to his benefit, pick Maryland like a greasy bucket of finger-lickin'-good fried chicken.
NEWS
By Lorraine Mirabella and Lorraine Mirabella,lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com | January 7, 2009
The economic turmoil of 2008 has left few bright spots, but here's one: Mortgage rates have plummeted. Rates on 30-year, fixed loans are hovering around 5 percent - the lowest level since Freddie Mac began tracking rates in 1971. Some economists predict a further slide in rates once Barack Obama becomes president and rolls out an economic rescue plan. And that could mean thousands of dollars in savings for Maryland homeowners. "The people who have done everything right are now going to benefit, and will be very well rewarded," said Mari Adam, a financial planner and owner of Adam Financial Associates Inc. in Boca Raton, Fla. "We are saying to our clients, anyone who can refinance should refinance.
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