March 24, 2016 |
Moody's Investors Service upgraded the University of Pennsylvania's credit rating by one notch to its second highest level. The New York ratings agency, in a report published Monday, cited the West Philadelphia institution's growing wealth relative to peers, expected successful integration of Lancaster General Hospital into its health system, and limited borrowing plans. The new rating is Aa1, up from Aa2. Penn, which employed 37,149 in Philadelphia last fall, making it the city's largest private employer by far, has had steady gains in operating margins and what Moody's called "superior donor support with $322 million in gift revenue" in the year ended June 30. Among Penn's other strengths is net tuition per student of $37,465, a measure of cash paid after financial aid. That ranked close to the top of all U.S. universities, Moody's said, and was driven by professional programs in business, medicine, law, nursing, and education.
March 22, 2016 |
U.S. investors squeezed by low bond yields and discouraged by the volatile stock market have pumped more than $50 billion into business development companies, or BDCs, in the last 10 years, in hopes of earning more. BDCs typically invest in debt sold by U.S. middle-market companies, including private-equity merger targets, energy-development projects, and mainstream companies that don't qualify for cheap bank loans. For the hope of higher, steadier interest yields, BDC investors often pay high broker fees.
March 15, 2016
THE DAILY NEWS' annual March Madness guide was designed by Drew McQuade . The cover was designed by Amy Raudenbush . The guide was edited by Doug Darroch, Jim DeStefano, Tom Mahon, Deb Woodell and Mark Perner. The team-by-team capsules were edited by Bob Vetrone Jr. The team-by-team capsules and additional material were written by Adam Hermann, Ed Barkowitz, Joe Juliano, Marc Narducci, Evan Cross and Jared Steckler. Executive sports editor: Rich Hofmann .
March 10, 2016
ACCORDING TO the most recent study from the Society for Human Resource Management, 47 percent of all prospective employers conduct a credit check on job applicants. But there is no proven relationship between credit score and work performance. One explanation for this is that events outside of our control can negatively impact our credit scores. Most of us can relate to people dealing with massive medical bills because of illness or injury, who have been laid off or had their hours reduced, or who experienced financial difficulties caused by the loss of a spouse or the full-time care required for children with special needs and elderly parents.
March 9, 2016
ISSUE | STUDENT DEBT Plan for Pa. tax credit When the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education was formed in 1983, universities were funded by about 75 percent state money and 25 percent student tuition and fees. Now, it's the exact opposite. This disinvestment in higher education on the state level has driven student debt to an all-time high. Student loans are the second-largest form of consumer debt in the country, trailing only mortgages. I have introduced legislation in the Pennsylvania House that would provide a tax credit of up to $2,500 a year for interest paid on student loans.
March 8, 2016
ISSUE | RECREATION Give the city credit for Schuylkill trail The Schuylkill River Development Corp. was prominently mentioned in Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron's column about the upcoming construction of the Bartram's Mile Trail ("Another big step, Feb. 26). The SRDC is a small nonprofit working with Philadelphia on the tidal Schuylkill River Trail (named Schuylkill Banks). While we are managing construction of the project, the city's Department of Parks and Recreation had the vision, led the design effort, and secured the funding.
March 6, 2016 |
Pennsylvania is racing New Jersey to the bottom as Standard & Poor's considers another reduction in the Keystone State's credit rating. S&P has threatened to cut Pennsylvania's AA-minus rating for general obligation debt by one or more notches. In a report to clients this week, the agency cited the state's "failure to pass a budget package for fiscal 2016 that addresses long-term structural balance" - financial-analyst code for the state's seeming inability to agree on boosting its cash reserves or lining up pension-fund income with the relatively generous checks paid to hundreds of thousands of retirees.
March 1, 2016
ISSUE | PORNGATE Give Kane credit, not criticism While praising a panel of the Court of Judicial Discipline for rejecting a proposed deal and insisting on a public airing of the charges against Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin, the Inquirer did not lose sight of its overriding principle in all things related to this matter: to vilify Attorney General Kathleen Kane ("Justice ought to be judged," Friday). The editorial chastised Kane for disclosing Eakin's emails "only selectively" and noted that "facing criminal and impeachment proceedings, [she]
February 11, 2016
By N. Aaron Troodler Pennsylvania has long been a pioneer in school choice, providing tax-credit programs that enable tens of thousands of low- and middle-income families to place their children in the most appropriate educational settings. But the state's budget stalemate threw these crucial programs into a dangerous limbo. Ultimately, Gov. Wolf took the necessary steps to free up the $150 million in scholarship funding from Pennsylvania's unique tax-credit programs, which give pre-K-to-12th-grade students the ability to attend the nonpublic schools best suited to their needs and beliefs.
January 31, 2016 |
Tens of thousands of Philadelphia's poorest citizens leave millions of dollars in federal tax credits on the table each tax season. This year, the city is making a new effort to see that money claimed. The city announced Friday that it will provide free tax preparation services at nearly 30 locations for many who are eligible for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), part of an outreach program called "You Earned It. " An estimated 40,000 Philadelphians eligible for the tax credit have not taken it, leaving about $100 million in tax credits unclaimed, according to the city's revenue department.