According to JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, investors of the municipal bond market can expect expect more bankruptcies. He spoke at the investment bank’s annual healthcare conference and called for those investing in the $2.9 trillion public dept market to be cautious. Dimon is not alone in his prediction. Cities, such as Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Detroit, Michigan, have also talked about possibly filing for bankruptcy.
Dimon’s statements come even as the number of bankruptcy filings has gone down. Bloomberg.com reports that while 10 municipal entities sought bankruptcy protection in 2009, just five bankruptcy filings were made last year. The largest last year was a South Carolina toll road that had over $300 million in debt. Also, in 2008, Vallejo California sought bankruptcy protection after it didn’t win union pay cuts.
Now, Liberty Mutual Holding Co. has reduced its municipal debt holdings in California, Connecticut, and Illinois. At the end of 2009, it had about $15.5 billion in municipal securities. As of last September, it had about $13.7 billion in municipal securities, or about 20% in invested assets. Moody’s Investors Service has given Liberty Mutual’s holdings in Illinois an A1 rating. Its holdings in Connecticut have been rated Aa2. Insurer Allstate also has had to reduce its municipal securities holdings.
With cities and states hitting their record debt levels, investors in municipal bonds are concerned that their investments are no longer guaranteed to be safe. Attention institutional investors: Contact our securities fraud law firm to discuss your case.
Related Web Resources:
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon Issues Warning for Municipal Bond Investors, Money Morning, January 17, 2011
JPMorgan’s CEO Dimon Says More U.S. Municipalities May File for Bankruptcy, Bloomberg, January 11, 2011
Municipal Securities, Institutional Investors Securities Blog