Nonprofit uses public data to show likelihood cities will become unable to pay bondholders

2201 A public interest group has applied sophisticated analysis to public records information for each of 260 California cities of more than 25,000 population to arrive at an online estimate of the quantitative likelihood that each will default on its payments to bondholders.  The group is now working on a similar presentation for the state’s counties, says Marc Joffe, founder of Public Sector Credit Solutions.  Despite the experiences of Stockton and San Bernardino, he says, the commercial bond rating organizations have been unrealistically pessimistic in appraising the solidity of government bonds, especially considering their relatively optimistic ratings of private enterprise investments.