For the first time since Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration is allowing flights to Israel. The death toll in Gaza has now surpassed 700.
Corporate tax inversions are the latest topic of debate on Capitol Hill. Allan Sloan, senior editor at large for Fortune magazine, appeared before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday to talk about international taxation and ways to reverse American companies reincorporating overseas.
Click the media player above to hear Allan Sloan in conversation with Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio to explain the maneuver, why it’s happening, and what government should do to regulate it.
Retirees and employees have voted to accept benefit cuts under Detroit’s bankruptcy blueprint, but not all creditors are on board. Two of the biggest holdouts are bond insurers.
Some are cooperating with Detroit’s plan, but not Syncora Guarantee Inc.
“They’re fighting tooth and nail against the city’s proposed settlement, because it’ll cost them money,” says Alan Schankel, a municipal research analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott.
Syncora and Financial Guaranty Insurance Co. (FGIC) insured almost $1.5 billion of Detroit’s pension debt. The city is offering ten cents on the dollar, or less. That may not be enough.
“Bond insurers got in a lot of trouble in the 2008 crisis. A lot of them were investing in some very exotic derivatives and other things,” says Eric Scorsone, a public finance economist at Michigan State University.
Syncora was insuring mortgage backed securities and other complicated financial products, says analyst Alan Schankel. As the housing crisis hit, Syncora lost capital and its AAA rating.
This all comes at a time when fewer muni bonds are even getting insured. Schankel says before the financial crisis, more than half of new bonds got insurance.
“This year to date that percentage is 4.85 percent,” he says, calling it a precipitous drop.
He believes marketshare will improve over time. The question is whether it will happen in time for Syncora.
The MD-83 aircraft was about an hour into its flight from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algiers. It was carrying 110 passengers and six crew members.