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Another Credit Blow Adds to Chicago Schools' Woes

December 22, 2015
The Bond Buyer

The Chicago Public Schools' cash crisis triggered a fresh rating blow this week that market participants say could scare off some buyers and further drive up its already steep spread premiums. A B1 rating "severely restricts the public buyer base," said Brian Battle, director of trading at Chicago-based Performance Trust Capital Partners. He suggested a private placement might work better for the district. The bond resolution the Board of Education approved last week allows for either a public offering or private placement.

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Is the junk bond crisis the start of another 2008?

December 15, 2015
CNN Money

A major junk bond mutual fund shut down last week. And that has many investors wondering if the risky high yield debt market could be about to collapse ... and drag the stock market down with it like subprime mortgages did in 2008. Brian Battle, director of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners, thinks more junk bond funds are in danger of going under -- especially ones with exposure to risky short-term bank loans and energy company debt.

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World Week Ahead: Finally, it's Fed week

December 14, 2015
The National Business Review

The US Federal Reserve's two-day meeting and a widely-anticipated interest rate increase will form the key driver in the coming days as investors eye clues about the projected pace of future hikes. "If...(policymakers) came out saying that over the next two years they will raise by 'this' much, that would be very destabilizing," Brian Battle, director of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners in Chicago, told Reuters. "The market will take great relief in the Fed communicating it will be very patient for the next increase."

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The Fed's rate hike could cause chaos in markets - and investors may not be ready

December 12, 2015
Business Insider

Stock market investors are ready for the first U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hike in nearly a decade next week, but they may not be fully prepared for all of the nuanced remarks likely to accompany that announcement. "If...(policymakers) came out saying that over the next two years they will raise by 'this' much, that would be very destabilizing," said Brian Battle, director of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners in Chicago.

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Let's Face Facts: CPS is Insolvent. What Should Happen Next

December 2, 2015
Crain's Chicago Business

Chicago Public Schools, the third-largest school system in the United States, is facing what has been described as a budget disaster. However, the word “disaster” is a misnomer. An avalanche is a disaster. A volcano is a disaster. The natural world produces disasters as sudden events with unexpected outcomes.

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