CHICAGO MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL’S

The Bond Buyer - - Front Page -

de­ci­sion Tues­day not to seek a third term in 2019 stunned the mu­nic­i­pal mar­ket, rais­ing un­cer­tainty over the city’s fu­ture fis­cal stew­ard­ship.

“I’m not shy, and to­gether we’ve never shied away from a chal­lenge,” Emanuel said when he an­nounced the de­ci­sion with his wife Amy Rule by his side. “To­day, the time has come to make an­other tough choice. As much as I love this job and will al­ways love this city and its res­i­dents, I have de­cided not to seek re-elec­tion.”

The de­ci­sion stands to shake up fu­ture city fis­cal, tax, and bond­ing poli­cies as well as ef­forts to in­crease fund­ing for city pen­sions. It comes with broad bond mar­ket im­pli­ca­tions be­cause the mayor con­trols the lead­er­ship of other bor­row­ing en­ti­ties. They are the Chicago Pub­lic Schools, the Chicago Park Dis­trict, the Chicago Housing Au­thor­ity, and the Chicago Tran­sit Au­thor­ity.

The an­nounce­ment also raises more im­me­di­ate ◽ues­tions over whether the Emanuel ad­min­is­tra­tion will move for­ward with a $10 bil­lion pen­sion obli­ga­tion bond is­sue that could prove a harder sell with the buy­side with un­cer­tainty loom­ing over fu­ture city lead­er­ship. The fi­nance de­part­ment could not im­me­di­ately be reached to comment. A de­ci­sion had been ex­pected as soon as this week.

The city’s de­ci­sion, mar­ket par­tic­i­pants say, will hinge on rat­ing agency anal­y­sis be­cause the city wants to pre­serve it gen­eral obli­ga­tion rat­ing and higher-grade se­cu­ri­ti­za­tion cred­its un­der a struc­ture that would likely tap the se­cu­ri­ti­za­tion.

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