Before the financial crisis of 2008-09, it would have been significant news if yields on municipal bonds had exceeded those on Treasury securities at any maturity, and that occurrence likely would have attracted a variety of investors seeking to take advantage of the relative-value opportunity.
The MSRB needs to clarify that regulated persons serving as financial advisors, regardless of the title they use, cannot disclaim fiduciary duty.
Why invest in the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market? SIFMA's Michael Decker offers some of the compelling reasons.
Does the Federal Reserve really think that another round of continued buying of long term Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities will provide a significant healing effect to the ailing economy? Isn't it time to consider a different course of treatment where the "bang for the monetary buck" will be more significant?
Rep. Gwen Moore thinks HR 1628, the Public Pension Transparency Act introduced last week by Reps. Devin Nunes, Paul Ryan and Darrell Issa, proceeds from a false premise, which causes the bill to introduce opacity rather than transparency of disclosure into the market, and intrudes on state sovereignty and policy preferences in order to attack public workers and pensions.
The timing of twin proposals by Rep. Devin Nunes and Messieurs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, which threatren state and local tax-exempt municipal bonds, could not have been worse.
New issue bond activity for charter schools in the first quarter reflects diversity in both charter schools and issuance characteristics.
Absent any further action by Congress, on May 19 the debt ceiling will automatically reset to the nation's debt level. This has important implications for municipal issuers selling refunding debt near this date.
The proposed cap of 28% may be a zero-sum game at best because it could increase costs for nearly all taxpayers. While there are additional arguments against adjusting the municipal tax exemption, the culmination of these factors indicates that such a significant change could alter what has served as one of the most efficient forms of government and infrastructure financing for more than a century.
In the next few years, the Treasury plans to completely "wind down" Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the impact on the pre-refunded and escrowed-to-maturity municipal securities will be devastating.
Instead of repealing the tax-exempt status, we need to rebuild the economy by reinvesting in our infrastructure that will ultimately create jobs. One of the best ways to do this is through low-cost borrowing at the local level.
While NAIPFA disagrees with these participants' statements that Municipal Advisors are wholly unregulated, NAIPFA does agree that the SEC's Municipal Advisor rulemaking should be completed as soon as possible to allow for further development of MSRB rules.
Water seems to be as steady a business as they come. After all, it's an essential service we all need. But the operating environment of water providers is changing, and bondholders should be sure that the issuers whose debt they hold are changing their business models accordingly.
Municipal bonds brought us clean water at the tap. This crucial development is in danger from proposals to eliminate the tax-exemption on municipal securities for essential governmental purposes.
Professional investors who mark to market need to know how their portfolios would perform under various interest-rate scenarios. Such "stress testing" is available in standard analytics systems, but when it comes to munis, the results could be seriously misleading, Andrew Kalotay says.
As the Securities and Exchange Commission's enforcement and litigation activity in 2012 demonstrates, the agency's focus on municipal market enforcement has increased dramatically, and this trend seems likely to continue under the SEC's new leadership.
The New York Times article, "A Stealth Tax Subsidy for Business Faces New Scrutiny," is riddled with inaccuracies of a critical development tool: private activity bonds. The story, sensational and misleading, highlights perceived misuses and abuses, while ignoring the essential public purpose that bonds serve.
The long-term care credit market has stabilized, writes Jon Barasch of Interactive Data Corp. in this commentary.
Herbert J. Sims senior vice president Richard Larkin makes a plea to keep municipal bonds tax free.
When the Obama administration argues that more financial regulation is needed to set us on the path to economic recovery, I would like to respectfully submit that the Great Recession could have been avoided, but its cause can be placed primarily on the shoulders of government, not on greed on the part of investment bankers and business people.
As we move into 2013, it is becoming increasingly clear that the U.S. public policy spotlight will continue to shine brightly on the municipal securities market.
Over the past several months, both dealers and nondealer advisors have made inflammatory public statements accusing the other of shoddy and questionable practices. Neither side, however, has a monopoly on competence or integrity.
If you take Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback at face value and think that Kansas is going to be able to take business away from Texas because of its new state tax structure, you may want to think it over.
The U.S. public policy spotlight shined brightly and consistently on the municipal securities market during 2012.
The fiscal cliff proposal being considered, which would exempt only 28% of municipal interest payments from federal tax, would do far more harm than good. A much better way to limit tax-exempt interest would be to reduce the size of the tax-exempt market.
Federal budget brinksmanship is endangering the critically important process by which municipal issuers purchase Treasury securities for refunding escrows.
The fiscal cliff negotiations have brought taxes to the forefront of people's minds. What does it all mean for municipal bonds as an asset class?
After a difficult few years, municipal floating rate notes are regaining a foothold in the market.
An update on the Florida "dirt bond" sector restructuring trends, new issuance, and trading activity.
There are options in addition to federal outlays to help fund a recovery from Hurricane Sandy. Action will require a much-needed act of bipartisanship.
What do active participants in the municipal market really think about bond insurance?
The looming threat of sequestration has become a concern for holders of taxable Build America Bonds.
Stockton's city manager and its interim debt manager say the city's bankruptcy filing has generated much discussion and some misinformation regarding local government finances in California.
Recent comments by the National Association of Independent Public Finance Advisors misstate the intent and value of the Dold Bill, which was approved on a bipartisan, unanimous basis by the Financial Services Committee and the U.S. House of Representatives.
Recent convictions in a series of bid-rigging trials have provided the municipal market a false sense that severely troubling conduct is in the past.
The National Association of Independent Public Finance Advisors opposes passage of the Dold Amendment saying it subjects issuers to the same abuses Dodd-Frank was intended to curtail.
After last year's debt ceiling debacle, it is hard to imagine that Congress will strike a compromise to forestall the "Fiscal Cliff" facing us at the end of this year.
John Buckley, professor in the graduate tax program at the Georgetown University Law Center and former chief Democratic tax counsel for the House Ways and Means Committee, says it's time for the muni bond community to get engaged in the tax reform debate.
Commentary: The erroneous predictions by some pundits of impending disaster in the municipal securities market can be given two responses.
Private student loan organizations still occupy a valuable space in the market and will continue to do so for many years to come.
With less than one month left before the Volcker Rule goes into effect, questions abound as to what it will look like and how it will affect the municipal market.
As stewards of our states coffers, state treasurers are tasked with managing and protecting the financial resources of our taxpayers.