Of the 7,800 bonds in the U.S. secured by state or local governments, only 25 are currently speculative-grade, or junk-bonds, rated by Moody’s Ba1 or lower. Only municipalities received such low ratings, and the reasons vary. Moody’s report, “A Look at Speculative-Grade Local Governments in the Wake of the Recession,” details the economic issues that have lead each into junk-bond territory. 24/7 Wall St. has analyzed the worst cities, whose credit rating is Ba2 and lower.
Each of these municipalities faces a unique situation, Moody’s explains, and the list is not indicative of a greater trend. Most municipalities, Moody’s writes in the report “face deeper and longer-standing problems than investment-grade issuers.” Analysis by 24/7 Wall St., however, reveals a number of commonalities between the lowest-rated areas.
For instance, a number of the municipalities on the list are facing shrinking tax bases possibly exacerbated by the recession and high unemployment. Some cities have had their economies devastated by the recession. Their populations have decreased dramatically and struggling major tax-paying corporations have contributed much.
Is your city going broke? Read on to find out.
(AP Photo/Mel Evans) More From 24/7 Wall Street: Most Expensive Tickets in Major League Sports The States Losing the Most Jobs in China 10 Signs the Double Dip Recession Has Begun The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.