Saw this coming a mile away

18 07 2011

Central Texas toll roads need more state subsidies than expected

Two-year-ish old Source: Even more perniciously, officials are expecting to use excess toll revenues as collateral for leveraging funding for new toll roads – as evidenced by the plan CAMPO recently approved to use the excess toll revenues from 183A, which has bond insurance, as a substitute for bond default insurance on 290E because bond insurance has now become unaffordable as a result of the credit crisis.  This is a financial tactic that Minsky might very well term “Ponzi Borrowing.”[vii]  Furthermore, “Standard & Poor’s experience indicates that optimism bias is a consistent trend in toll-road traffic forecasting.  Bondholders and lenders should, therefore, view these forecasts with some degree of caution as they attempt to identify the inherent risks that these forecasts pose for credit quality.” [viii]  And so it comes down to these questions:

  • Has TxDOT and/or CAMPO and/or CTRMA been cooking their traffic count books? [viv]
  • What happens if TxDOT defaults on its bond for 183A? [x]
  • What happens if toll roads, which are now so called Public-Private Partnerships, are fully privatized? [xi]

 

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