California Runs Out Of Money Again, Comes Begging To Wall Street As Moody's Threatens To Go Nuclear On Muni Market

Tyler Durden's picture

First New Jersey, now California. The cash-strapped state, which begged for, and got, a "bridge" loan from JP Morgan as recently as October 2010 (the same bank that recently bailed out Chris Christie), is asking for another bridge to the old bridge loan, ergo a "bridge bridge" loan. The excuse: the potential upcoming government shutdown, which would lock California out of the muni market. Surely the fact that it already has little to no cash left was not a part of the equation. BusinessWeek reports: "California is considering seeking a bridge loan from Wall Street ahead of an Aug. 2 deadline for raising the federal debt ceiling, in case talks fail and send the bond market into turmoil, Treasurer Bill Lockyer said. Proceeds from the loan would be used to help pay the state’s bills until Lockyer can sell an estimated $5 billion of so-called revenue-anticipation notes, or RANs, scheduled for late August. Without those notes, the state could run out of cash as it did in 2009, when it issued $2.6 billion of IOUs." Of course if the US is downgraded, Meredith Whitney's prediction will come true with a bang: as part of its warning yesterday, Moody's also threatened to downgrade 7000 municipal ratings which would halt RAN, and any other, issuance for an indefinite period of time. And while this is merely more M.A.D. posturing to help the debt ceiling dispute come to a speedy resolution, the fact that California is now forced to issue new bridge loans to "bridge" old ones is oddly troubling.


“We are hoping to get our borrowing done before Aug. 2,” Lockyer told reporters following a speech yesterday in Sacramento.

A failure to raise the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt limit would lead to a “major crisis” and throw “shock waves” through the financial system, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said yesterday at a House Financial Services Committee hearing.

Moody’s Investors Service put the U.S. under review yesterday for a credit rating downgrade, adding to concern that political gridlock will lead to a default. The company warned it may lower 7,000 ratings on $130 billion in municipal debt backed by U.S. Treasury or other federal securities or repaid with federal money such as Medicaid grants and economic-stimulus aid if the U.S. loses its top rating.

Lockyer said he’s concerned about the possibility of federal delays in Medicare subsidies and other payments to California and about long-term reductions in U.S. aid to states. A default, he said, could prompt the federal government to prioritize payments to states that would affect California’s cash flow.

“The ripple effect on state and local finances is very substantial,” he said. “Depending on how long the delay was, you might have a cash-flow hit. Of course, the budget negotiations might result in reduced payments to the states. There’s two kinds of worry.”

What would happen in a best case scenario?

The new bridge loan would be repaid by the RANs, which the state would pay off when the bulk of taxes is collected later in the year.

Lockyer sold $10 billion of RANs in November, including $2.25 billion of notes that came due in May with a yield of 1.5 percent and $7.75 billion that matured in June at 1.75 percent.

Those May notes yielded 98 basis points, or 0.98 percentage point, more than top-rated one-year debt at the time and the June notes yielded 123 basis points more, Municipal Market Advisors data show. California sold $8.8 billion of such notes in September 2009 and $5 billion the year before.

On the other hand, if there is indeed a downgrade, California's cash lockout would be the least of anyone's worries.

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NuckingFuts's picture

Golden State


UGrev's picture

More like "Gold Plated" state.

66Sexy's picture

Silver just broke out of its trading range.

Look out above.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Now that's a Silver Woodie if ever I saw one.

cranky-old-geezer's picture

Yes, heading up thru 39.13 as I write this.

However I rather doubt TPTB will let the paper market go much higher. I fully expect another huge smack-down as it gets up around 40 or crosses 40.

They're just not going to let the paper silver market break out into a full natural runup.

...which is fine with me, more opportunity to buy it cheap ...physical that is.

Dr. Richard Head's picture

Considering JPM is sitting at 40.78, you could be right. That is if JPM indeed did collateralize their stock for their naked short position on the paper silver markets.

66Sexy's picture

Not sure about that. They have bigger fish to fry, than attempting to suppress silver in the face of massive asian and domestic buying... all to protect an institutional perception that is collapsing?

Once we get to 'abbandon ship, bankers and financiers first', and the suits and pig men trample over their grandmothers to get to the lifeboats, this whole menagerie could drop...

"TPTB" may have to prioritize their resources.

Hugh_Jorgan's picture

The clock is definitely ticking on "buying it cheap" my friend. Local brokers are already scalping the physical Ag and many larger brokers are raising premiums as well.

Clamdigger's picture

...or the Golden Shower state.

Animal Cracker's picture

"It's time to eat our pee."


Clamdigger's picture

<double post, no additional charge>

hugovanderbubble's picture

Please anyone could share a list of


ETF´s related to Munibonds, and tickers of Most Tradeable Equity;Funds, Munibonds?...


TO get short



The Rock's picture

The Golden State is so desperate for money that they stopped issuing 60 day notices for vehicle registration so they can collect on late fees.

Sudden Debt's picture

so you had a late fee...

why not blame the mailman?


The Rock's picture

The Golden State is so desperate for money that they stopped issuing 60 day notices for vehicle registration so they can collect on late fees.

ThoughtCriminal's picture

time to make it state number 32 - for Mexico

caconhma's picture

California situation is very easy to fix

  • First, declare a bankruptcy
  • Lay off 15-20% of all state employees
  • Cut all state employees pay by 10-15%
  • Stop paying all state benefits to illegals
  • Redo the state retirement law for its employees (make it similar to the private sector)
    • Early retirement age at 62.5 yrs
    • No pension benefit above 35% of the last 3 years base pay

In 1-2 years, CA will have a large state budget surplus

dolly madison's picture

Additionally, California is working to set up its own bank, so that it won't have to pay so much interest when it borrows.  Cut the banks out, and we all have more.

snowball777's picture

Don't worry, Bill...I've got your back. Is 10% good for you?

bonddude's picture

Gotta love that Meredith and her macro calls. Like duh! Very bifurcated market. The good shit is

getting major bids while the rest hangs fire.

Cow's picture

It's all Meredith's fault

Blagio's picture

JPM posted better than expected earnings. No worries.

SheepDog-One's picture

Rockin! Wheres the need for QE?

WestVillageIdiot's picture

Just decrease your loan loss allowances and, bingo, earnings look great.  Bonuses all around, bitches. 

karzai_luver's picture

bridge to nowhere , bitchezzzz!



lolmao500's picture

While in the real news... SP : miss any payment on anything and you get downgraded.

Standard & Poor's has privately told U.S. lawmakers and top business groups that it might cut the U.S. credit rating if the government fails to make any of its expected payments -- including Social Security checks -- even if it makes all its debt payments, the Wall Street Journal reported citing people familiar with the matter.

SheepDog-One's picture

OH, checkmate to petulant Obama, 'You miss any payments, we downgrade you'.

I am glad to see the sleepy ratings agencies suddenly alert and frisky like a pitbull now downgrading everything in sight after completely MISSING everything up to this point.

WestVillageIdiot's picture

There is better acting in porn.

That is what I hear.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

[Doorbell rings, girl opens door]

Moody Steel:  Hello, miss, did you order a ratings downgrade?

Pet Chulent:  Why yes I did.  Come on in.

Moody Steel:  Do you want a long downgrade?

Pet Chulent: Ooooh!  Really, I just want a little one until my sugar daddy comes back with another big stimulus package.

Moody Steel:  Well, all I have is this AA.

Pet Chulent:'s so big and threatening.  It's perfect!

Moody Steel: I thought you might like it.

Pet Chulent: Can you just wave it around without know...finishing the job?

Moody Steel: Well, we run the risk of making a mess of things, but I can give it a shot.

Pet Chulent: Let me open the curtains...I want everyone to see it.

Moody Steel: Well, aren't you a naughty little bitch?

[Cue music ]


MsCreant's picture

Good work here! It ends up a bondage flick, doesn't it?

Urban Redneck's picture

That is SHOCKING coming from S&P.

nodhannum's picture

Looks like the rating agencies have come to Jesus!

WestVillageIdiot's picture

I would love to know what their ulterior motive is.  There has to be one.  There always is.  There is no way they are doing this to actually be honest ratings agencies.  As we all know, honesty doesn't pay very well in the world of the financial mafia.

cranky-old-geezer's picture

It's simple.  Wall Street wants to push Obummer over his reluctance to start looting 401k and other pension assets, so they have their (completely owned) rating agencies turn up the heat. 

karzai_luver's picture

yep them and the banksters want it ALL NOW.

Never let a good cry go to waste.


lolmao500's picture

Indeed it is. Maybe the elite has finally decided to destroy it all.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Don't send money, just more of the Governator.

MK ultra's picture

Hey.. isn't that Mickey Rourke ??

SheepDog-One's picture

Looks like Mickey Rourke, except not bizarre enough lookin. Like an 80's Harley Davidson and Marlboro Man Rourke.

Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez's picture

Is that Harrison Ford?  The sign now makes sense!


Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez

carbonmutant's picture

He's probaly just going to spend it fuel...

SheepDog-One's picture

Are we at the point where the pirates turn on themselves and start killing and stealing each others loot because theres no one else left to plunder?

'We'll pay you back when we plunder the taxpayer more later in the year', yea right.