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We’ll take whatever we can get

Monday, Feb 3, 2014

* A tad bit of good news

Illinois’s borrowing costs have fallen to the lowest level in six months as investors join Governor Pat Quinn in wagering that a law bolstering the worst-funded state pension system has “stopped the bleeding.”

The extra yield demanded on 10-year Illinois debt relative to AAA munis reached 1.43 percentage points on Jan. 30, the least since July 18, as the state prepares a $1 billion general-obligation bond sale this week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The fifth most-populous state already spared taxpayers more than $20 million on an offering in December, less than two weeks after legislators passed a pension bill that saves $145 billion over 30 years. […]

Illinois “is perceived as being on the right trajectory,” said Konstantine “Dino” Mallas, who helps oversee $20 billion of munis at T. Rowe Price Group Inc. in Baltimore. “I wouldn’t say they’re out of the woods, but maybe they’ve stopped digging themselves into a deeper hole.”

* And we’re not even in the top ten?

According to a new report at Business Insider, Illinois is the 16th most corrupt state in the U.S. The ranking system looked at number of people convicted of public corruption, per population.

By this metric, Louisiana is the nation’s most corrupt state, with over nine public convictions per 100,000 residents. The states with the fewest conviction rates were South Carolina, Oregon, Washington, New Hampshire, Minnesota and Utah. Each of these had 1.3 convictions or fewer per 100,000.

…Adding… I think Greg Hinz is really on to something, at least as far as the corporate recruiting world is concerned

The good folks at the Indiana Economic Development Corp. have had lots of fun at Illinois’ expense in the past couple of years, running a ton of ads here and other places about how Indiana is a far better place to locate a business than Illinois.

But now, the boys and girls from the Land of Lincoln think the Hoosiers have given them something to fight back with.

In the Indiana Senate, after clearing the state House earlier in the week, is a bill that would insert a ban on same-sex marriage in the Indiana Constitution. While the measure, at least as now written, would leave the door open to civil unions and would have to be approved by voters, it’s exactly the opposite direction that many states are headed in now, including Illinois, where gay marriage becomes legal on June 1.

Passage of the bill would be “a negative sign to business,” said Doug Whitley, CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. “That’s a mistake for the Indiana Legislature to take that path.”

Allowing same-sex couples to wed and related matters “are a determinant of where you want to live and work,” he added.

The same point comes from Adam Pollet, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity: “Illinois is open for business. We want all the business here, and all of the people in those businesses,” he told me.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


8 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    See what happens when the Supreme Court Rules on the Pension law.


  2. - Ahoy! - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    “Come to Indiana, we’re still in the 20th Century.”


  3. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    Good news on both fronts.

    The article on borrowing costs, however, neglects to clarify that Illinois’ spread to 10Y MMD is 3 times that of any other state.

    In other words, Illinois’ borrowing costs are 3 times that of any other state.

    While this represents progress, we still have a mighty long way to go.


  4. - From the 'Dale to HP - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:51 am:

    On the same sort of note… I don’t understand why Illinois doesn’t hammer on and on and on about Indiana’s sub-par infrastructure.


  5. - oz - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    with regard to bond sales.

    correlation =/= causation

    the global markets and blowing up with the threat of the free money fed qe though being taken away. so there’s a flight to bonds. there’s nothing here to give illiois politicians credit for.

    with regard to corruption.

    yep, if the state is so corrupt that you can’t get a conviction and then use the number of convictions as your metric then you can come in at number 16..

    and as far as illinois business and job creation propaganda goes.

    i challenge everyone to pull up the bls.gov economy at a glance data for illinois.

    take a look at the back data of the labor force under the employment category and you will find that we have less people employed in this state today then we did way back in apr 1997 sixteen years ago.

    yeah, this… after year after year of hearing illinois is creating much needed jobs using these tax break tools for the corporate elite

    sixteen years my friends. where did all the new entrants to the illinois workforce go over the last 16 years. where did all the college grads go over the last 16 years.


  6. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 12:10 pm:

    I think there is an information lag between the good news the state has received lately and the public’s perception of the state’s direction. In the gubernatorial race, it’s Quinn’s mammoth job to convince voters that the state is moving in the right direction–provided that it continues to do so.

    “Indiana’s sub-par infrastructure”

    Last week or so, after we had a big snowfall, I heard the mayor of Hammond, Indiana praise our state on the radio, saying that we can afford to clean our roads. He said that Indiana is lacking the tax revenue to adequately do this, and workers have to work seven days a week.

    Yes, we have problems, but I’m grateful I don’t live in a right to work state that has been trying to pass transvaginal ultrasound bills and anti-SSM legislation.


  7. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 1:49 pm:

    I’ve asked before, and I’ll ask again - when will the largest corporations (many headquartered in the former Confederacy) start to lose employees over the local bans on gay marriage? How big an issue does this become in corporate recruiting? Corporate relocation? Does this give Allstate (Chicagoland) a leg up over Bank of America (Charlotte, NC), Coca Cola (Atlanta, GA) and ExxonMobil (Dallas, TX)?


  8. - Upon Further Review - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 3:43 pm:

    @1:49

    That is ridiculous.


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