Moody’s Investor Services has downgraded Chicago’s credit rating to the third-lowest level above “non-investment grade” based on pension liabilities, meaning the third-largest US municipality has the second-lowest credit score among major cities.

The agency announced Tuesday it was dropping Chicago’s rating on around $8 billion in debt by one level–from A3 to Baa1. The move follows a three-step downgrade for the city in July.

Dropping Chicago’s rating to three levels above junk-bond status “reflects the city’s massive and growing unfunded pension liabilities, which threaten the city’s fiscal solvency,” Moody’s analyst Matthew Butler said in a report on Tuesday. “The size of Chicago’s unfunded pension liabilities makes it an extreme outlier.”

Chicago’s pension debt is eight times more than its operating revenue, BusinessWeek reported. The city’s debt load tripled from 2002 to 2012.

Moody’s warned that the city’s outlook remains negative, meaning its rating could fall further if the pension debt is not addressed through revenue boosts and other budgetary modifications.


In an October budget address, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel urged the Illinois Legislature to restructure the city’s pension funds.

“We will not preside over a city in which garbage is not picked up, graffiti is not removed, and libraries and other vital services must be shut down,” Emanuel said, adding that residents and businesses will leave the city if the state legislative body doesn’t act.

The city’s population went down by around seven percent from 2000 to 2010, according to US Census data. Meanwhile, New York and Los Angeles–the first- and second-largest US cities–saw at least a two percent population jump in that time.

Both New York and Los Angeles are rated Aa2 by Moody’s, the third-highest overall ranking and five levels above Chicago.


Among major US cities, only Detroit has a worse Moody’s rating than Chicago.


[Editor’s Note: According to the 2010 Census, Chicago is 32 percent white, 29 percent Hispanic, and 33 percent black.]


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  • I have never understood why we have to have this obscure combination of letters, numbers and +/- marks for credit ratings. How about a numerical score like individuals get?

    • Korean guy

      I agree. Numbers are also able to describe the situations more accurately and in detail as well.

      say a credit rating of a city or an organization improved only slightly and the improvement was not large enough to change the letter. But
      if we use a number between 0 and 1000, we can for example increase the number by one or two or three, ( In other words, less than 1% difference ) and we can tell that it at least improved. That would not be possible if we only used a handful of letters.

      • Germanicus

        As someone about mentioned, there are multiple dimensions to be considered and subjectivity plays a role. If it were truly reduceable to a single metric, the big boys would have long ago found another game to play. It is much like grading students with letters, well there, they could come close using a purely numeric system. They assess using numerical techniques and then revert to letter grades to pretend that more went into it than did, or should, or because large portions of the educational system is not competent or confident in the powerful numerical tools available to it.

    • WR_the_realist

      Different rating agencies use different scores. The weirdness should not be unexpected in a country that still adheres to the system of imperial units, which even the British have abandoned for the metric system.

      • It gets even weirder than that. The US gallon is about 3.8 liters, while the British Imperial gallon was about 4.6 liters. Britain and Canada still use gallons to express fuel economy for vehicles, but this leads to confusion when comparing notes with us Yanks, because these are not US gallons. Cute, huh?

        • r j p

          Precious metals are traded in troy ounces.

          • Here in the United States land is surveyed in miles that are not the same as statute miles, but very close. Neither is remotely the same as a nautical mile (2000 yards instead of 1760).

    • r j p

      I agree with you in a way but the “obscure combination of letters, numbers and +/- marks for credit ratings” allows pros to decide what to do after buying/selling Birmingham bonds — what would be a good hedge against them, buy/sell Detroit or Chicago bonds or treasuries. Price of the bonds don’t always tell the story because of different maturity dates, future expectations for performance, types- corporate, municipal, county, federal. There is another factor also if hedging in futures market called “cheapest to deliver”.

  • Oil Can Harry

    Liberal pols like Rahm Emmanuel + a population 2/3 black and hispanic = poor credit rating.

    • thomas edward

      I would just love to see chitown go bottom up during this Zionist traitor’s mayorality.

    • MBlanc46

      I’m not sure that I’d call Rahmulus “liberal”. He’s an investment banker and a kleptocrat. I’d be surprised if he has any principles at all.

      • WR_the_realist

        If he had any principles he would never have qualified as a top adviser to Obama.

      • r j p

        He was a buddy of “Bathhouse” BHO.

  • Magician

    What is the rating of Detroit then?

    “Beyond Repair”
    “Damaged and Shattered”
    “Way below junk”
    “Free fall”

    I just looked it up and the rating of Detroit is CC, which means

    “Default imminent with little prospect for recovery”

    • Pro_Whitey

      Yo, take that, whitey!

      • Magician

        Around the Internet, I see that most people outside the country think Detroit is one of the most wonderful cities in the world and very prosperous because Ford and GM are in that area

        • A picture is worth 1000 words.

          • That looks like it could be Somalia. Oh, wait… never mind.

          • CaptainCroMag

            Years ago, amren linked to a site called the Ruins of Detroit by Arthur Kemp. It was that site that truly opened my eyes to how detrimental Black people are to an advanced civilization. Seeing that visual tour of a once great city utterly destroyed by Blacks hit me emotionally and stirred me in a way that statistics never could.Unfortunately, that site is gone. I’ve fond no other site that captures the loss of Detroit like that one did.

        • Alexandra1973

          That was probably 50-60 years ago at least.

  • Spartacus

    “According to the 2010 Census, Chicago is 32 percent white, 29 percent Hispanic, and 33 percent black. ”


    So it’s a failed city. NEXT !

    • Laura Dilworth

      We’re hanging in there

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    I used to think there was still hope for Chicago because there is still some white racial consciousness there, but after learning on this forum that the city looses white residents with each new census, the writing seems to be on the wall of Chicago’s impending collapse. There is no hope for any city if it looses too many whites. It’s not happening as quickly or as precipitously as it did to Gary or Detroit, but it is happening. Too bad, since Chicago is the nearest big city to me.

    • NM156

      The information you received is wrong. The percentage of whites has increased from 2000-2010, as it did from 1990-2000. The Black population has shrunk and will continue to shrink.

      • Jimmie the Greek

        Chicago has been dumping their welfare caseload on other midwestern cities for many years now. When you read about crime in Minneapolis, Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Peoria, Quad Cities, Fort Wayne, etc. realize that a bunch of this is done by Negroes who were paid to leave Chicago.

        • r j p

          I wouldn’t say dumping. blacks go where welfare pays better.

        • Strider73

          Didn’t Wisconsin drastically reform its welfare system back in the 1990s specifically to curb migration by blacks trolling for handouts? Apparently the effort faltered.

  • So CAL Snowman

    “Among major US cities, only Detroit has a worse Moody’s rating than Chicago.”

    How does Baltimore rank ahead of Chicago?

    • Pro_Whitey

      Probably proximity to Washington, D.C., which now boasts a majority of either the richest counties or richest ZIP codes in the U.S., whichever standard you prefer.

      • r j p

        Gub’mint employees ……..

    • Commerce, I suspect. Baltimore has a deep-channel port.

    • Jesse James

      Maybe because Baltimore is smaller in terms of population (621,000 to 2,715,000) than Chicago it is seen as less risky as they can only dig so deep there. Chicago being roughly four times more populous means a lot more risk.

  • MekongDelta69

    Mo’ blacks = Mo’ bad… EVERYTHING…

  • JSS

    I know Im kicking a dead horse here but story’s like this illustrate the best for me how leftist thinking is a religion. According to them there is nothing wrong with the Western worlds immigration policies other then we don’t admit enough 3rd worlders. This is because according to them nonwhites always equal economic prosperity in a Western country. But no matte how many times this is shown to be untrue nothing will change their minds. They are just as superstitious as any peasant from the Middle Ages. They think if only we “do more” for the diversity they worship then the blessing will magically materialize.

    • Whitetrashgang

      Yes Chicago needs more blacks from Africa,maybe some apes and snakes too.

    • Einsatzgrenadier

      Liberals will never learn that it is the ethnic composition of the population that determines the kind of civilization one lives in. If you continually add 3rd world immigrants, you end up with an increasingly 3rd world society.

      • They regard all upright hominids as blank slates for them to write (scribble) their Marxist trash upon.

    • HamletsGhost

      Modern liberalism is a secular version of Christianity.

  • Irishgirl

    “‘We will not preside over a city in which garbage is not picked up, graffiti is not removed…'”

    So don’t throw trash on the ground or write on the walls.

    “‘… and libraries and other vital services must be shut down.'”

    Oh no! Not the libraries! I predict a full-scale revolt on this one.

    • r j p

      I have been two two libraries in Chicago.

      The one down the street is filled with blacks surfing porn, and black girls yapping.
      There are two sides, a regular side a a children’s side. It was 8:30 at night, nobody was in the children’s side so I went there to use an empty table. I was quickly told it was the children’s section and I could not be in it. I didn’t even know it was the children’s section. I just left.

      Harold Washington Library, now this is a treat.
      It’s got the blacks surfing porn.
      It’s full of bums who are drooling all over books while they use them in upright position to hold up their heads while they sleep.
      Then you have the “young bucks” that continuously “patrol” the library for anything that might be of value and unattended.
      I thought I might use the washroom on the way out. Watched it for a five minutes before trying to use, seemed like it was probably empty. When I pushed open the door, the most disgusting smell ever hit my nose, and you could tell there were people in there. Did not use.
      I left and then got my backpack searched on the way out.

      • Whitetrashgang

        So your library experience was just like being in a black highschool?

        • Jesse James

          I quit going to our local library when I started recognizing the cars of the black drug dealers in the parking lot. They pretty openly transact business in the parking lot. Blacks dump their hoards of children at the library as a free baby sitting service after school. Though I have to admit that the blacks aren’t any more offensive than the white homeless that the leftist in Athens encourage to use the library as a flop house. They have the right to take sink baths in the restrooms and often sprawl out in a drunken stupor on the upstairs “reading area” couches.

          • De’Ontavious Jizzaiah Jones

            I think all big city libraries are in same boat. Orlando main library functions as daycare for homeless and black kids. As a result, only chairs in library are stiff straight back wood uncomfortable. A reading area has these same chairs paired with smallschool desks. So we all have to be denied comfortable chairs to discourage homeless from lounging. The only way out is to pay $50 yearly subscription to the library of a neighboring highly affluent city that has no black kids and no homeless and very comfortable chairs.

          • Pelagian

            Where are all the white liberal librarians? Liberals worship the library like a Temple of Reason. Surely this must turn a few of them into race realists, to see their Temple desecrated like that.

            I know! How about a small literacy test? Say Library instead of ‘Libary’ and you are admitted?

          • The public libraries in Colorado Springs have signs that say “no large backpacks”, expressly to prevent the tuberculosis-spreading, mentally-ill, alcoholic, drug-using homeless from congregating inside.

            Perhaps someone could challenge this policy in court, but the voters could turn around and say, “We’ll just cut back on library funding.”

      • MBlanc46

        I haven’t used the downtown libary for 20 years or so. In those days it was pretty decent. I’m sorry to hear that it’s gone the way of just about everything else in the city.

        • r j p

          It probably employs more security guards than librarians.
          Which is sad.
          Because we all know blacks don’t steal books when looting.

      • Jesse James

        Don’t forget the blacks watching whites get their asses beat down on World Star Hip Hop. Try complaining to a leftist librarian about that.

      • newscomments70

        That sounds like the library scene at Laguna Beach. It’s not quite as bad, but it has been commandeered by the homeless. They use the restrooms to bathe and they sit in the most comfortable areas all day and smell the place up. Some actually read, but it’s disgusting being in the same room with them. Porn surfing isn’t allowed so we do not have the “urban youth” problem. I still hate going there though. It could be such a nice place. Libraries used to be sanctuaries.

        • Here in Colorado Springs, the libraries have signs that say “no large backpacks”. I imagine this is intended to keep the homeless out. Porn-surfing isn’t allowed, either. We still get “yoofs”, but they’re white and Asian and play “Warcraft” for an hour and then go home.

          • r j p

            I don’t like the “no large backpacks” rule. Seems like it would discourage -actual- students from using.

          • newscomments70

            I think that “small” backpacks with books are fine. Homeless typically carry their belongs, sleeping bag, kitchen utensils, etc.

          • r j p

            Homeless people in Chicago use old luggage they have found in alleys or those carts they sell for grocery shopping, again found in alleys.

          • newscomments70

            If you live in a beach community, you will also be flooded with them. Our cops were sued by the ACLU for cracking down on the homeless.

          • I carry a fairly big one when I’m out, but not big enough to need an ALICE frame.

      • Pelagian

        Welcome to the third world.

        • Germanicus

          We need to re-establish order. It’s that simple.

  • r j p

    I have been saying for some time that Shitcago was right behind DeToilet. Chicago has been selling assets to fund operations for years, and every sale was a huge loser because it was a sweetheart deal.

    • MBlanc46

      Sweetheart deals are the Machine’s specialty.

      • Those sweetheart deals aren’t such a good deal if a city is selling off assets in order to make ends meet. Of course, the corrupt city governments that arranges these deals are the reason that assets have to be sold off in the first place.

        • MBlanc46

          When money was being made here hand over fist, the cut the machine and its cronies took was easy to overlook. Now that we’re skint, they really hurt, but it’s the way business has always been done and apparently always will be. The pols and the business elite will be trying to figure out how to make money off of the bankruptcy.

  • Martel

    It has officially been downgraded to “Chi-Town” as urban “youths” have named it. Moody should from now communicate to all contacts and partners in “Chi-Town” in ebonics only, regardless of the ethnic composition of the companies involved.

    • Andy

      So is the “Chi” pronounced “Shih” like in Chicago?

    • Strider73

      I prefer the relatively new nickname “Chicongo.” Far more descriptive.

  • MBlanc46

    Until recently, I was pretty confident that because we still have a pretty diverse and dynamic economy it was very unlikely that we’d wind up going the Detroit route. Lately, I’m getting very concerned. Rahmulus and his arse-kissing city council have just authorized another $900 million in bonds to keep the city running. It may be that bankruptcy is the only way to get the kleptocracy out of office, if only temporarily.

    • Jesse James

      Don’t worry as soon as they have enshrined the concept of regionalism as a Federal civil rights issue they will have white money from the suburbs flowing into Chicago.

      • Peter Connor

        Suburbs also see white flight.

        • Bartek

          Quickly running out of places to flee…
          Perhaps we can flee to Mexico, soon their will be more Whites there than here!

          • Jesse James

            I used to think we could bring all the Haitians to Florida and then we could take over Haiti and turn it into an island paradise.

          • r j p

            That was my idea!

    • r j p

      $201 million to upgrade the Wilson Red Line stop?
      Rahm is spending money like it is free.

      I go to Tinley Park to buy cigarettes.
      Metra spent $50 million to build the new expanded train station.

      Government largess is out of control.

  • WR_the_realist

    I’m shocked to hear that the home town of Obama, Farrakhan, Bill Ayers, and a very large number of blacks, run for decades by Democrats, has a near junk bond credit rating. Just shocked, I tell you. I don’t understand how this could be.

  • Bartek

    The greatest expense all large American cities face do not come from employee wages and comp packages.
    The greatest expense are the welfare coddled “African Americans”.
    A disproportinate level of resources are squandered on Blacks. (eg. rising police budgets, infrastructure repair, the court system, prison system, Section 8, EBT/Snap)
    Blacks are expensive pets. They contribute little to nothing to society.
    When will Blacks pay their way?

    • Xerxes22

      Don’t try telling Republicans that the greatest expense facing large American cities does not come From employee wage and comp. packages. They would never understand it. That’s too alien a concept for them.

    • r j p

      You mean expenses like this:

      The Cook County Jail, located on 96 acres (390,000 m2) in Cook County, Illinois, is the largest single site jail in the United States of America, housing approximately 12,700 men and women. The facility is located at 2800 S. California Ave in the city of Chicago. It employs 3,900 law enforcement officials and 7,000 civilian employees. ….. On average, the inmate population is 53% Black, 36% Hispanic, and 11% White and other. …. from Wiki

    • You forgot the indirect expense those cities suffer from the lost tax revenue involved when their policies drive away law-abiding white families.

  • r j p

    You mean like shut down Michael Reece Hospital and tear it down because the city wanted the Olympics and it’s land for a dormitory for Olympians?

    The precedent was set when the city stole the land now called Streeterville from Colonel Streeter, who had build it from in the lake from the remains of the Chicago fire.

    Two former bosses of mine flew into Meigs everyday. They lived at that lake in Wisconsin. Forced them both to relocate to the north burbs.

  • newscomments70

    Take away the porn, and most of that problem would disappear. There is still a problem with the homeles…they have so many “rights”.

    • r j p

      Agreed.Is Hustler on the magazine rack at a library?
      If not why are it’s images OK at the public library to anyone?

    • r j p

      Why does a public library need “privacy screens” on every computer? Very few businesses use them.
      It’s because they know what their fine patrons are surfing.

  • John Smith

    Black mobs attacking whites, can’t conceal carry. You’d be a fool to visit, work or live in Chicago. Let it die.

  • r j p

    The AMEX is located in NYC and owned by the NYSE.
    The financial industry is not growing in Chicago.

  • Uncle Bob

    So when Chicago melts down and becomes like Detroit, where will the welfare burden be shifted to? Will the masses of blacks/Hispanics flood into surrounding states or cities in the area? What happened to the 100s of thousands that moved out of Detroit recently? Should the entire Midwest be on guard for a mass exodus from Chicongo?

    • r j p

      And BHO wanted to build a high speed train between Detroit and Chicago ……
      There is no commerce between the two cities that warrants such a major infrastructure project.
      Would have been nothing but a train for pimps and their whores (of age and underage) to use to change location.

      • Californiastan wants high speed rail between the San Francisco Gay Area and Tijuana Norte for reasons that are equally unclear.

        • Uncle Bob

          Probably so they can ram Mexicans up the corridor. Ok………I’m laughing now!

  • Germanicus

    Sounds like you’de a step away from tbe d men’s clubs.