Friday, May 19, 2006

Hyperbole? Not really. It really looks like a tsunami of debt. - Wave of debt sweeps over New Orleans:
"The city itself would have run out of money to pay for essential services this month had not its lead banker, JPMorgan Chase, and its financial consultant, Peter Kessenich, the managing director of Public Financial Management, negotiated a $150 million loan with a syndicate of U.S. and foreign banks last week. That will help fund its operations through 2007.

The city also owes investors $878.6 million, including nearly $500 million in general-obligation bonds that it normally would pay off with property tax receipts. But this year's tax bills have not gone out yet, five months late. And a recent assessment cut city property rolls by 24% while the likely tax collection rate is pegged as low as 50%. The water board depends on a share of those taxes to fund a portion of its operations."

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