How Puerto Rico Could Affect Issuer Regulation
The credit crisis in Puerto Rico may give Congress an opportunity to pass legislation that would allow direct regulation of state and local issuers, municipal market participants said Saturday.
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Airport groups, public power systems and a muni advocate group have joined the growing chorus of muni market participants calling for the Internal Revenue Service to withdraw its proposed rules on political subdivisions. more »
Proposed House legislation designed to help Puerto Rico is moving to the full floor with light amendments after a 29-10 House Natural Resources Committee vote on Wednesday. more »
Leaders of the House Natural Resources Committee and Rep. Pedro Pierluisi on Tuesday night urged their colleagues to approve a bill to help debt-ridden Puerto Rico, even though they may not support certain provisions or worry the measure does not go far enough. more »
Market participants need to continue working toward broad disclosure of bank loans, possibly by amending the Securities and Exchange Commission’s disclosure rule to classify the loans as material events for issuers. more »
The House Natural Resources Committee will meet to vote on the recently revised Puerto Rico bill starting on Tuesday and continuing the following day. more »
Four port authorities and a wholesale electricity provider are warning that rules proposed by the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service earlier this year could hurt their standing as political subdivisions and their ability to issue bonds as well as complicate their governing structures. more »
An unusually weak economic recovery is putting the credit ratings of an increasing number of states in jeopardy. more »
House members, government officials, and stakeholders all say the newest version of a bill to help Puerto Rico is a step forward, but their support for the measure seems tepid at best. more »
A House committee has passed legislation that would block the District of Columbia from having budget autonomy and the ability to spend its local tax dollars without congressional approval. more »
States had $968 billion in unfunded pension benefits, $518 billion in outstanding public debt, and $587 of unfunded retiree health care and non-pension benefits in fiscal 2013, according to a report on States’ Fiscal Health released by The Pew Charitable Trusts on Tuesday. more »
Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday urged the federal government to extend emergency loans to Puerto Rico to aid in debt restructuring. But he opposed the idea of a control board, which has been a cornerstone of legislation proposed by House Republicans. more »
Despite House Republican threats of criminal prosecution, the District of Columbia Council will hold the first of two votes Tuesday that would give the district budget autonomy and the ability to spend its local tax and fee revenues without annual congressional appropriation. more »
Washington State Treasurer and National Association of State Treasurers president Jim McIntire this week called on the federal government to play a more active role in securing infrastructure funding for local governments and called on lawmakers to protect the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds to fund such projects. more »

Daniel Berger, Senior Market Strategist at Municipal Market Data, talks about the recent rally in municipal bonds which has brought long-term yields down to record lows. He talks about continuing demand from retail investors in light of the upcoming Summer redemption season and he discusses the allure that the American tax-exempt market has for overseas buyers. He outlines the recent spread compression in quality credits and also looks at some of the market's outliers -- Puerto Rico and Chicago.

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