The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey could be forced to pay out more than $150 million this year on a pair of complex and risky investments originally designed to save the agency money. READ MORE
Darryl R. Isherwood, Politicker NJ
Five Reasons You’ll see Chris Christie at the Hamburg Inn No. 2 this fall
President Obama is beatable. Now. The President’s numbers are at an all-time low, ranging from 39 to 47 percent approval. He’s upside down with a year to go and an economy that’s proved to be as stubborn as Camden Democrats trying to keep their guy on the ballot. Other GOP luminaries are on the sidelines so for Christie, this likely is a once in a lifetime shot. He can win, which based on the disarray that’s overtaken the Republican field, is not something any of the others can say with a straight face, at least not right now. Read More
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is shelling out more than $2 million per month on three interest rate swaps tied to bonds that either never were issued or have long since been refunded.
In all, the agency has paid Wall Street banks more than $37 million since 2007 to cover the three swaps, which currently have a market value of approximately negative $145 million. When combined with other swaps the agency has paid to terminate over the past two years, the total swaps payout crests $70 million since 2007.
The swaps are basically an exchange of a fixed payment by the PA for a variable one from a counterparty tied to a short term interest rate. The derivatives, which are essentially a bet with another company on which way interest rates will move, are meant to protect the PA in the event that interest rates soar. When used as a hedge, a swap is designed to lock in a low fixed rate payment to offset the long term risk of a variable rate bond. The variable rate payment paid by the counter party is designed to track the rate paid by the PA on the bonds, offsetting each other and mitigating the risk of soaring rates. Read More