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Friday, February 27, 2015
Rahm's Re-Election Nightmare: Chicago's Bond Rating Lowered Just Two Clicks Above Junk Bond Status
This cannot be good news as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel faces a run-off election with Cook Co. Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia on April 7. Moody's Investor Service downgraded the city's bond rating to Baa2 with a negative outlook because of the city's inability to rein in the soaring cost of its workers' pensions. Emanuel's office is pointing to the fact that two other rating agencies, Standards & Poor and Fitch, affirmed the city's credit rating; however, S&P warned it still might lower its rating more than one notch. Some recent pension reforms undertaken by the city face legal challenges in the court, and the credit agency is weary of more than $550 million in additional pension payments the city will be forced to make starting in 2016. His opponent quickly seized on the news as evidence of his "lack of fiscal stewardship."