California's efforts to sell $10 billion in short-term bonds last week attracted only tepid interest, adding to concerns that some local governments are on shaky financial ground and may have to pay more to attract investors.
The widely watched sale drew interest from around the country as debate continued over whether the stability of municipal finances has been a factor in market prices. The tax-exempt bond market has been overwhelmed by a deluge of supply that has decreased demand, depressed prices and forced yields higher.
"The tax-exempt municipal bond market is a cold, cold world right now for issuers and taxpayers," Tom Dresslar, a spokesman for the California State Treasurer told The Wall Street Journal. He added that the state decided to cancel another $267.3 million bond sale it planned to price this week "in light of market conditions."