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Illinois pays the price for ignoring pension crisis

June 25, 2013
The Associated Press

Largely because of its unfunded retirement plans, Illinois has replaced longtime bottom-dweller California as having the lowest credit rating of any state. So when Illinois tries to borrow money, it faces the same problem as the spendthrift cousin: far higher interest rates. "There are investors who won't buy Illinois or bonds with Illinois labels at any price. They just see it as toxic," said Brian Battle, director at Performance Trust Capital Partners, a Chicago-based investment firm. That means the state pays "the biggest penalty by a long, long shot."

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Stocks End Down 1%, Dow Drops 100 in Choppy Session; All S&P Sectors Lower

June 11, 2013
CNBC.com

Stocks finished sharply lower in volatile trading Tuesday after briefly wiping out most of their losses, with all key S&P sectors closing in the red, as the Bank of Japan's latest monetary policy decision disappointed investors. "Everything's driven by interest rates—there's been a lot of back and forth today as a result," said Brian Battle, vice president of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners.

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Illinois Dinged by Downgrades

June 11, 2013
Wall Street Journal

Legislators in Illinois again failed to pass pension overhaul recently. Last week, both Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service cut the state’s rating on its general-obligation bonds down a notch because of the state’s inaction. “The Illinois label is radioactive for some investors,” said Brian Battle, director of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners in Chicago.

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