The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

US municipal debt: Muni market double-dip worries build

Concern grows for munis; Will Chapter 9s increase?

Concerns about the ability of US states and municipalities to meet their debt obligations are resurfacing as the threat of a double-dip recession heightens. After the 2008 crash and subsequent US economic recession, state and city revenues came under increasing pressure, leading some analysts to predict defaults on debt. However, although states and cities have struggled with budget shortfalls and have had to implement cost-cutting strategies and tax increases, those concerns seemed exaggerated.

Three years later, however, with a second recession looking increasingly likely, concerns have returned. Lisa Washburn, managing director at municipal bond research firm Municipal Market Advisors Research in Concord, Massachusetts, says many municipalities have not had a chance to recover. "We were just beginning to see a rebound in state revenues earlier in the year, and many states factored improving income and sales taxes into their 2012 budgets," she says. "If 
those come off projections, then there will be some pressure." Washburn
 says there also has not been enough time for local municipalities to fully recover and that, unlike in 2008, this time they do not have the cushion 
that preceded the first recession. "The housing market is still severely 
depressed and local governments get about 75% of their tax 
revenues from property taxes," she says.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree