This is a look at the “municipal bond market”. In the English language the word bond is sometimes reserved for higher level government entities. Also bonds are a general, unsecured obligation. In contrast “debentures” are mostly secured by specific assets and do not necessarily constitute a general obligation of the issuer. The English use the two terms interchangeable but in a different way than the Americans. To make a long story short, municipal bonds are often debentures with some underlying legal agreement that spells out rather precisely from what sources repayment is to come. So it is possible that the City of New York issues “bonds” that serve to pay for the ferry-boats. If usage drops off sharply, for whatever reason, the City itself is not on the hook! This is very dangerous stuff if you are not completely up to date on the underlying agreement. Lately Mrs. Meridith Whitney made a few splashes by suggesting this area would crater big time. Others took a different view.
Looking at it from an EW perspective it looks like Meridith Whitney may be barking up the right tree after all. Time will tell.