California GOs Different – and Stronger – Than Detroit’s

March 20, 2014 – In The News
The Bond Buyer

Michael Sweet was quoted in The Bond Buyer article "California GOs Different – and Stronger – Than Detroit’s." While the full text can be found in the March 20, 2014, issue of The Bond Buyer, a synopsis is noted below.

While Detroit’s proposed haircut of 80 percent to most general obligation (GO) bondholders has caused municipal bond market ripples, the GO pledge should stay strong among California municipalities, attorneys say.

Detroit’s treatment of a class of debt that has typically been prized for its relative safety as an investment has prompted market participants to reconsider the meaning of the “GO pledge.”

"Certainly what's going on in the bankruptcy cases now, including Detroit, San Bernardino, and Stockton, is going to have long-term implications on Wall Street because there's a clear indication that what the bond community thought may be different from reality," said Michael Sweet.

"As we see bonds get less than ideal treatment in these various bankruptcy cases, it's going to certainly send a message in terms of what people are going to do in future bond transactions where there's a risk of bankruptcy and presumably that risk will be priced into the bonds," he said.