Why 3 of 4 rating agencies use A.I. and what it does.
The proposal doesnt provide interpretive guidance many hoped for following the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation initiative.
We bring you February DIVER Geo scores for overall economic health of states, counties, and cities and in case you missed it some interesting news and a quote around the Labor Department's Fiduciary Rule.
The U.S. infrastructure challenge does not suffer from a shortage of capital. The critical problem is finding added revenue sources to pay back that capital.
Issuers of revenue bonds are beginning to fully understand how interest rate risk works and how they are affected by rising interest rate risk.
As we await details of the new administrations infrastructure plans, we must continue to demonstrate the strengths of the tax-exempt municipal market that we have today.
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board report on the timeliness of disclosure tells us that not much has changed for the better. We also look at those obligors that might be impacted should the Oroville Dam fail.
Membership substitution transactions are the most common form of business combination transaction in the nonprofit hospital industry. They are also widely misunderstood and the source of many mistakes.
Unemployment and foreclosures warrant a closer look in geographic areas of concern.
President Trump, in promising massive transportation investments, did not mention what the fiscal impact would be on interest rates. Nor did he discuss the critical role of local and state governments in financing the nations public infrastructure.
Though the final Treasury Regulations were greeted as more palatable than versions proposed earlier, a deeper dive results in a list of questions that need to be considered.
The looming closure of the State and Local Government Series, or SLGS, window on March 15, when the debt ceiling suspension is set to expire, introduces new transaction risks that must be properly and prudently managed.
Factually flawed methodology utilized by the Joint Committee on Taxation poses a key challenge as the municipal market seeks to maintain full access to the tax exemption.
With so much attention on job growth from both the outgoing and new administrations, we take a look at what the data, through the end of 2016, tells us about the employment situation relative to our population.
Although the updated guidance could benefit from revisions or clarification of certain provisions that weren't addressed, it provides welcome guidance for issuers and 501(c)(3) borrowers entering into management contracts.
States that rely heavily on exports to foreign countries are worth a closer look as the Trump administration considers its next steps on its promise to change trade policy.
The warning signs can reveal themselves in historic audited financials, when combined with more timely economic data.
The Trump administration's seeming enthusiasm for investment in public infrastructure has breathed new life into discussions of the topic, Bracewell practitioners Charles Almond and George Felcyn write in a commentary.
Following the Bridgegate scandal, there's been another political collision in the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's world.
While the Securities and Exchange Commission's Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation initiative may be done, it seems the enforcement division is not.
We take a deeper look at material information that is reasonably accessible that should be disclosed at or before the time of trade.
Calculations of the impact on municipal yields of tax rate cuts are a simplification of how prices are set in bond markets and should not be relied upon.
The IRS's Final Regulations represent a departure from current rules that will affect long-held practices for issuers, underwriters and financial advisors.
The president-elect would finance his trillion dollar plan through tax credits, bypassing state and local governments, and may move to tax the interest on their municipal bonds.
Among the more influential swing states, Trump claimed Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and Florida all states with low Geo Scores, which rate economic health on a scale of 1 to 10.
Here are some of the key "known unknowns" factors that are likely to affect valuations and creditworthiness and functioning in the state and local finance sector as the Trump Administration and Congress sort them out.
While this election seems less about the economy and policy and more about insults, who knows, maybe the direction of the economy over the past year in swing states can offer some insight.
The worst is yet to come in the SEC's enforcement of municipal disclosure efforts, and it will be very costly for the issuers who missed the boat.
The only two things that Presidential candidates seem to agree on are that their opponent is a puppet of Russian President Vladimir Putin and that the U.S. must make significant investments in our crumbling infrastructure.
The private sector might be willing to carry risk the public sector doesnt want, or provide capital sooner than the public sector capacity allows, but these benefits come at a cost, and sometimes that cost is hard to measure.
This week we cover two quite different topics, starting with the most recent FEMA data regarding Hurricane Matthew. Then, in an attempt to move us beyond the "Sex, Lies and Audiotape" conversation that is occupying the minds of many Americans, we take a closer look at the importance of exports, employment and wages on the economy.
With voters from nine more states considering marijuana legalization in next months election, heres a state-by-state chart of the revenue implications.
The SEC's MCDC initiative is causing many municipal issuers and underwriters to change the way they do things.
One of the most pronounced indicators of the improvement in Florida's economy is the decline in poverty rates.
Regardless of which candidate takes the oath of office next January, improving our countrys infrastructure will be on the next presidents agenda.
While Mayor Rahm Emanuel has chipped away at the pension problem, Chicago has come nowhere close to identifying a solution. The city must, at a bare minimum, contribute enough every year, including 2016, to ensure that the plans' funded ratio not drop below, and that their unfunded liabilities not exceed, 2015 levels.
Colorado's economy has shown the strongest improvement among states over the last year. The economies of Maryland, Wisconsin and Florida also continue to show strong improvement, while energy and commodity dependent states continue to show the weakest performance.
The orders provide some insight into what the Securities and Exchange Commission considers to be a material false or misleading statement in an offering document.
Restructuring the debt of Chicago and Illinois would entail about two years of unpleasant headlines, but the city and the state will rebound far sooner and less painfully than if they stay on their current paths.
The Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative was a particularly imaginative enforcement solution directed toward a very specific disclosure issue.
Attempts to boil down state government fiscal performance into bite size chunks can be Quixotic exercises, fraught with data problems and ripe for misinterpretation.
Puerto Rico's addiction to debt is not unlike that of an abuser to alcohol or drugs, so perhaps it is time for Puerto Rico to undertake a 12-Step Program, aided by the new financial control board.
While there is something wild about callable premium bonds, fortunately there may be a way to tame them.
Underhanded pay-to-play practices may come back in play.
Not enough has been done to provide municipal issuers, obligated parties and underwriters the clarity sought and needed by the market.
In the past 3½ years, the Securities and Exchange Commission has asserted its enforcement role considerably, in what can fairly be described as a form of direct regulation of issuers.
Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, and Michigan have shown significant improvement in economic health over the past year, while some stronger states have been underperforming.
What's the appeal of the tax-credit alternative? It guarantees that a holder will receive full value as long as he has a matching tax liability. That's true even if the issuing State is in a financial crisis and can't pay its bondholders.
Municipalities buy insurance to obtain a higher credit rating for a bond issue and a commensurately lower borrowing cost. The savings arise from a lower coupon or, if the coupon is fixed, a higher price. But how can municipalities make sure that bond insurance makes economic sense for them? The answer is to pay close attention to the costs and benefits.
No single individual played a more critical role in defending the authority of cities, counties, and states to issue state and municipal debt.