Monday, March 19, 2012
Meredith Whitney: 'Tidal Wave' of Muni-Bond Defaults Still Coming
A "tidal wave" of defaults in the municipal bond market is still building and will eventually hit the United States, says Wall Street analyst Meredith Whitney.
Many U.S. cities, towns and municipalities are insolvent but are treading along similar to how Greece did for years before officially defaulting.
"You have Stockton (Calif.) that is on the brink of bankruptcy. You have five cities, including Detroit, which is on the brink of insolvency. It's fascinating, because there's been so much back-room political maneuvering to keep these cities from going bust," Whitney tells CNBC, pointing out how California is trying to pass legislation to prevent municipalities from declaring bankruptcy.
"So there's been every effort on the part of the states to prevent this tidal wave of defaults, which is going to happen sooner or later. It's happening at an accelerating pace."
Taxes are rising, social services are being cut and fiscal shortfalls will keep widening.
"They're not called technical defaults. It took how long for Greece to become a technical default, so they're insolvent, they're not paying their bills," says the founder of the Meredith Whitney Advisory Group.
"You're either willing to see it or you'll shut your eyes, and if people want to tell me, 'Oh, I was wrong,' because this hasn't played out, stay tuned."
Posted by The Doc at 12:14 PM