bonds

flickr/ TaxCredits.net

  A new analysis found that Illinois lost out on millions of dollars when it sold bonds last week. 

An influential group of business executives is declining to comment on the possibility it helped to lower Illinois' credit rating. But public employees’ unions are calling for an investigation.

The Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago — and one of its leaders, former Illinois Attorney General Ty Fahner — were early leaders of the charge to do something about the state's underfunded pensions.

Fahner's been one of the most vocal advocates of doing not just something, but something major, to bring down the state's pension costs.

  Governor Pat Quinn says Illinois' failure to solve its pension problem means the state will have to pay $130 million more in interest on bonds it sold Wednesday. But a new study is questioning Illinois' low debt rating.

Illinois got an average interest rate of five percent on the $1.3 billion bond sale — and had to turn away many potential buyers.

WUIS/Illinois Issues

The Great Recession was caused in part by overextended homebuyers who took out loans to purchase homes that cost more than they could afford. They were enticed by banks offering low or no down payments, coupled with interest rates that were low at first but could rocket up later. The housing market collapsed when those interest rates were ratcheted up, and homeowners could no longer afford their mortgage payments. Some were able to refinance, but many others walked away.