NEW YORK – Chalk up another victim of the Great Recession – tribal bond finance.
Tribal bond issuance, after peaking at $577.6 million in 2007, has declined sharply since, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters.
Volume fell by more than half in 2008, to $271.8 million, and by more than half again in 2009, to $77.2 million.
This year, to date, tribal governments have issued a tiny $2.8 million in bonds.
Before 2007, the biggest year for tribal government bonds was 2003, when $466.8 million were issued, according to Thomson Reuters.
Since 2001, tribes have issued about $2.7 billion in bonds, and a mere $4.6 million in notes.
While that represents an advance on previous decades, a look at state government issuance shows a glaring disparity.
State governments issued nearly $400 billion in bonds during the decade. That’s more than 150 times tribal government volume.
Tribes have used bonds to finance casinos and other economic development projects.
A provision in last year’s federal stimulus bill was designed to spark tribal bond issuance.