Detroit's bankruptcy rattled the muni bond market when El Paso needed it most.
There isn’t much that links a low-lying Texas border town like El Paso to a former northern industrial hotbed like Detroit—that is, there wasn’t until very recently, when the 1,700 miles stretching between the two suddenly seemed too close to officials in the southwestern city.
When Detroit began its official spiral into bankruptcy, it rattled the municipal market at exactly the time El Paso was issuing revenue-backed bonds to finance a new minor league baseball stadium. City officials say they made the best of a bad situation and ended up increasing the interest rate on their bonds, which closed last week, to make them more appealing. But some say El Paso’s ambition – the city had already broken ground on the stadium, part of a massive, bonded downtown revitalization -- forced it into a must-sell transaction that cost the city more money than it should have.