Vermont treasurer cautions US debt ceiling impasse could impact state’s credit rating

first_imgWhile federal negotiations continue on raising the U.S. debt ceiling, Vermont’s State Treasurer is cautioning that the seeming impasse could negatively impact Vermont’s hard-earned Triple-A bond credit rating.                 ‘Yesterday, we learned from Moody’s Investor Services that even the highest-rated states, including Vermont, would have their ratings reviewed next week in light of the continued U.S. debt ceiling debate,’ said State Treasurer Beth Pearce. ‘However, I’m confident Vermont’s track record of fiscal responsibility will serve us well in any rating review. Vermont has the highest credit rating in New England, one of the highest ratings in the country, a strong cash position and healthy reserves.’                 Pearce said such disappointing news concerns her because the State’s high bond rating enables Vermont to borrow funds for critical infrastructure needs at very low rates and save taxpayers millions of dollars in interest payments. On July 13, Moody’s placed the U.S. government’s debt ratings on review for possible downgrade. Moody’s informed the Treasurer’s Office that it also was concerned that states would be negatively impacted by disruptions caused by the failure to raise the U.S. debt ceiling.                 State and federal governments sell bonds to investors to borrow money to make investments in areas such as public infrastructure. In Vermont, money raised by a bond sale funds a wide range of capital purposes, including State building construction and maintenance, health and public safety, and pollution control projects. The higher such bonds are rated, the more creditworthy a rating agency evaluates the bond issuer to be. Vermont bonds are rated Triple-A by Moody’s and Fitch Ratings and Double-A+ by the Standard & Poor’s Ratings Service.                 ‘The debate in Washington is a painful reminder that even though Vermont is fiscally sound and we are responsibly managing our finances through this economic downturn, we also are affected by national public policy decisions. It would be regrettable if all of the hard work and sacrifice that State government, employees and taxpayers have made to earn Vermont’s excellent ratings is put at risk due to events beyond our control,’ said Pearce.                 Vermont’s next general obligation bond sale is not scheduled until mid-October and Pearce said the State has sufficient cash balances and receipts to delay that sale even further if necessary.                 ‘We are fortunate that we can get through any short- or even medium-term bond market disruption,’ explained Pearce. ‘Many states are not in such an advantageous position. If a resolution to the debt ceiling issue is not forthcoming, debt markets will be volatile. States and municipalities with lower credit ratings may have difficulty accessing the market at affordable interest rates, if at all. I remain hopeful, however, that a resolution will take place before the deadline.’                 The Treasurer’s Office has worked closely with State officials to review rating agency concerns and to develop contingency plans. Vermont has sufficient liquid cash reserves to manage delays in receipt of federal funds, and all of its existing debt is fixed rate and long term, which protects it from both rising interest rates and ‘rollover’ risk.last_img read more

T&T attorney general concerned about increase in murders

first_img Share Share Tweet Sharing is caring! NewsRegional T&T attorney general concerned about increase in murders by: – December 31, 2011center_img Share 52 Views   no discussions At least 15 people have been killed since the State of Emergency ended earlier this month.PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad-Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said the crime plan implemented in the wake of the State of Emergency has failed.And, he wants Commissioner of Police Canadian Dwayne Gibbs to present his 2012 plan to ensure that murders are kept to a minimum.At least 15 people have been killed since the SoE ended December 5 – eight of them during the Christmas holiday weekend.“There should have been some plans to deal with it, anticipate it and that is why perhaps it’s a little troubling at this time,” the attorney general told a media conference yesterday.“…The government is very concerned in the spike of the murder rate post State of Emergency. I for one am very anxious to hear from the Commissioner of Police who had the benefit of a year to settle into the job and who we hoped to have brought fresh ideas and new perspective to be able to help us to solve the crime problem.”Ramlogan said the matter would likely be discussed at an upcoming meeting of the National Security Council.While noting that the murder rate was now lower than the previous three years, he said there was clear evidence that the SoE, which was in effect from August 21, saved lives.More than 350 people have been murdered for the year so far, 117 more than in 2010. Caribbean 360 Newslast_img read more

Cahill: Experience will guide Blues

first_imgGary Cahill is backing Chelsea’s old heads to guide their younger team-mates through the fight for Barclays Premier League glory. The Blues maintained their pursuit of leaders Arsenal with an Eden Hazard-inspired 4-3 victory at bottom-of-the-table Sunderland on Wednesday evening, and head for Stoke on Saturday needing to repeat the feat if they are to maintain pace with the Gunners. Many members of the current team have no experience of winning the title, which the club did in 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2009-10. However, Cahill is confident the manager who claimed those first two successes and the senior players who formed the backbone of his team can school a new generation in how to go all the way. He told the club’s official website, chelseafc.com: “It’s very tight at the top. All we can do is keep trying to win. “We did that on Sunday [against Southampton] and on Wednesday we went away from home to a team that is fighting and made it very hard for us, but again we got the win. “Jose’s experience will definitely help us this season. I’ve won cup competitions but I’ve never won the league, and it’s one of my goals that I’m aiming to achieve. “We have got players that have won the league a few times. They have got a lot of experience to give the younger players, like Eden, and we can all take confidence from them.” Hazard turned in an individual display at the Stadium of Light which left both Mourinho and opposite number Gus Poyet saluting his contribution. He made Frank Lampard’s 17th-minute equaliser and then scored his side’s second and third goals, although it was Sunderland defender Phil Bardsley who effectively sealed the victory six minutes from time when he turned substitute Demba Ba’s cross into his own net. Mourinho will hope for more of the same from the 22-year-old Belgian as he attempts to bring the league trophy back to Stamford Bridge. The man himself knows that will be far from easy, but he believes there is enough talent within the squad to push Arsene Wenger’s men all the way. Hazard said: “Arsenal is top and now we need to take three points every game. “There are big teams with us and it is difficult but we have a very good team – a young team but very good team – and we will see after December and January.” If the Blues are to succeed, they will need to defend significantly better than they did on Wearside, where all three of Sunderland’s goals came from set-pieces, although Cahill is not unduly concerned. The 27-year-old said: “If you take away the set-pieces – which we know is a huge part of the game – we limited Sunderland to few chances and defended well. “It was unlike us because we have done all right with set-pieces this season.” Press Associationlast_img read more