Illinois’ outlook remains bleak, junk status still looms . . .

​”Near insolvent,” would be “first U.S. state” with toilet-level bond ratings.​

One week ago, Illinois passed its three year-overdue budget in hopes of avoiding a downgrade to junk status, however in an unexpected twist, Moody’s said that it may still downgrade the near-insolvent state, regardless of the so-called budget “deal.” In fact, a downgrade of Illinois may come at any moment, making it the first U.S. state whose bond ratings tip into junk, although as of yesterday, credit rating agencies said they were still reviewing the state’s newly enacted budget and tax package.

​”Political dysfunction . . . continued unaddressed long-term liabilities . . . unaddressed long-term liabilities . . . [weak] revenue performance. . . ”

The most likely outcome is, unfortunately for Illinois, adverse: “I think Moody’s has been pretty clear that they view the state’s political dysfunction combined with continued unaddressed long-term liabilities, and unfavorable baseline revenue performance as casting some degree of skepticism on the state’s ability to manage out of the very fragile financial situation they are in,” said John Humphrey, co-head of credit research at Gurtin Municipal Bond Management​.

​All points to serious kicking of can down the road.​

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