As it steps up its efforts to police the municipal securities market, the regulator is turning to potentially career ending sanctions for municipal officials.
With the government contemplating changes to the tax exempt status of municipal bonds and investors faced with dubiously researched claims about the potential for defaults, the industry needs someone to step into the late Jim Lebenthal's role, his daughter writes.
When markets are so opaque that trading occurs only in a small fraction of outstanding issues, transactional and risk clarity has to be restored, a market advisor writes.
Are some tax-exempt bond issuers incurring unnecessary costs and unexpected risks by over-relying on traditional fixed rate debt?
The Allen Park, Mich., case marks the first time a city official has been charged on the theory that he "controlled" the persons who committed the primary securities law violations, even though he isn't alleged to have participated or even known of the conduct at issue.
Voters in California and Texas, the nation's two most populous states, scored notable victories for fiscal responsibility on Election Day by overwhelmingly taking stands against shifting today's obligations onto the backs of future generations.
While Puerto Rico faces fiscal problems that are similar to those of 1970s New York, it's important to note the differences between the two economies as the island commonwealth seeks a solution.
While finding new revenue sources for highway improvements is indeed a thorny political issue, analysts at Conning feel that the credit quality of the existing bonds remains sound.
Delivery of the Official Statement satisfies MSRB Rule G-32 - but not the new Time-of-Trade Disclosure Rule, MSRB Rule G-47.
Americans are suffering the consequences of Congress, governors and legislators across the U.S. pushing the burden of today's costs onto the backs of tomorrow's taxpayers by repeatedly putting off infrastructure repairs and new construction.
Issuance of municipal MSA tobacco bonds by states was the subject of a highly critical article published by ProPublica. The article attempts to make a case that states erred in deciding to issue tobacco bonds. The article was widely circulated across social media. As we frequently observe, the national media focus on the muni market is appreciated, but the facts got muddied in the pursuit of a good story.
The Puerto Rico Public Corporations Debt Enforcement and Recovery Act, approved by the Puerto Rico legislature in late June, has had a notable impact on market activity and perceived credit quality for bonds of the commonwealth and its agencies.
If the State of California wants to maximize refunding savings then the Legislature should authorize "oversight boards" to issue refunding bonds on behalf of successor agencies.
In light of the MSRB's dual mission to protect both municipal entities and investors, SIFMA urges the MSRB to interpret MSRB Rule G-17, effective immediately, to apply specific baseline provisions to municipal advisors.
As banks make more loans to lower-rated municipalities, they may have to follow Interagency Guidance on Leveraged Lending that was developed with private and corporate borrowers in mind.
Detroit's bankruptcy may prove relevant for current restructuring candidates like Puerto Rico, the City of Chicago, and several municipalities in California.
Since the release of the Securities and Exchange Commission's final municipal advisor registration rule in September 2013, the Bond Dealers of America and its members have dedicated significant efforts and resources to work with regulators, educate issuers and ultimately be prepared to make a successful implementation of the rule.
As the legal fight over Puerto Rico's Recovery Act heats up, Argentina and Arkansas provide roadmaps to what may lie ahead.
As many state and local governments across the country begin their July 1 fiscal year, a new federal law going into effect is of particular interest to municipal governments that issue bonds.
Of various possible exclusions and exemptions in the SEC's Municipal Advisor Rule, a handful are particularly likely to prove useful in easing disruptions in the underwriter-issuer/borrower relationship.
The long-awaited Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act has the potential to play an important part in encouraging the use of P3s in the water and waste water sectors.
The inexorable drive to further underfund Pennsylvania's state-wide pension systems remains alive and well, under the guise of "pension reform."
Illinois and New Jersey are showing us how you should never, ever underestimate politicians' willingness to put off painful fiscal decisions.
Despite widely cited financial woes among both municipalities and monolines, guarantees have worked largely as anticipated to protect holders of insured securities.
Despite the warm spring weather, industry concerns over the SEC's Municipal Continuing Disclosure Cooperative Initiative have begun to snowball.
Like it or not, getting wealthy individuals to move to the Island in order to avoid U.S. taxes appears now to be a cornerstone of Puerto Rico's growth drive and is characteristic of the country's eternal search for a quick and painless way to grow.
Re-introducing the Build America Bonds program would once again drive much-needed infrastructure spending and broaden the buyer base to non-traditional taxable investors, while at the same time providing a complementary alternative to the currently challenged landscape of the traditional tax-exempt market.
A recent phenomenon is the emergence of bonds with shorter call protection as funding alternatives for municipalities. However, the shorter call protection also dampens the potential upside for investors, which in turn reduces the price they are willing to pay.
New York's budget leaves it at risk of becoming one of only five states that do not allow the use of design-build procurement to deliver public infrastructure projects.
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico needs another "operation bootstrap" to spur its economy, a veteran municipal analyst says.
Scheduled negative amortization of pension liabilities is very common, can be perpetually increasing and is often unrecognized by many pension stakeholders and municipal market participants.
As protection of the retail and non-sophisticated market participant continues to be a priority for regulators, the new rule, G-47, clarifies obligations previously embedded in interpretive notices and makes clear that the time-of-trade disclosure obligation applies when you sell a municipal security to a customer, or purchase a municipal security from a customer, whether unsolicited or recommended, and whether in a primary offering or secondary market transaction.
With much of the angst around the debt ceiling silenced until 2015, Congress is unlikely to focus much on the municipal securities market, which means that the tax-exempt status of municipal debt is unlikely to be threatened in the near term. With that said, regulator cross hairs remained trained on the municipal market.
"One of these things does not belong" is a catchy slogan and it comes to mind when looking at the latest tax policy ideas coming from Washington when looking at the municipal bond tax exemption. The exemption is not a result of the growth of a tax code designed to induce or reduce certain behaviors. Rather, it is the foundation for the flow of capital in a $3.7 trillion dollar market required to efficiently finance the nation's infrastructure.
Land isn't the only thing drying up in California, as the drought's economic impacts are dangerously closing in on the state's financial resources.
Why is Proposed Rule G-47 pending approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and how will it differ from the existing rule? Why is this well-intentioned and, as some believe, needed rule the subject of an SEC order that has delayed its implementation?
The Securities and Exchange Commission used a combination of its antifraud authority and SEC Rule 15c2-12 in 2013 to raise the bar for issuers' secondary municipal market disclosures.
The first critical step in a municipal workout, whether inside or outside of bankruptcy, is to get all parties, the debtor and the creditors, to accept that they will all have to incur significant losses as a result of the workout process.
There is no easy, single answer to explain why Detroit or San Bernardino or Jefferson County and other local governments have resorted to bankruptcy in recent years.