Two years ago, I was on the phone with Tom, my regional underwriter, inquiring on the closing date of a standard bank-qualified general obligation school bond issue when I was informed that they could not find purchasers in the late 2008 market environment.

“How can that be?” I asked. “It’s a GO.”

That was the moment when I realized that the financial crisis was not only real, but was driving up and down the dirt township roads in the Midwest.

Over the past two years of the financial crisis, I have watched the municipal securities market experience significant structural changes.

Robert W. Doty’s newest book, “From Turmoil to Tomorrow — The Emerging New World of Municipal Finance,” is an impressive 1,718-page work that examines the financial crisis and these fundamental changes. 

His complete multi-volume set includes an 878-page legislative and regulatory supplement.

The author examines the misfortunes of issuers and investors, details the statutory and regulatory reactions to the financial crisis, reviews investor litigation, and contemplates the actions that could and should have been taken by market participants to mitigate the crisis.

The book is divided into five volumes in the electronic format.

Volume I explores how the financial crisis affected all aspects of the market. Volume II covers the legislative and regulatory responses to the meltdown. Volume III details the securities investigations and enforcement actions. Volume IV reviews litigation by private investors. Volume V is the Legislative and Regulatory Supplement, which is split into two volumes in the printed format.

The writer exponentially increases the reader’s understanding of the financial crisis, the underlying contributions of market participants, and the questions they should now be asking themselves so as not to repeat history.

This is a book that can be read as a whole or delved into by volume.  It should be on the bookshelves of experienced market participants and investors.

The author is president of American Governmental Financial Services Co,, a financial advisory firm based in Sacramento. Doty has more than four decades of financial markets experience in a variety of roles, including financial adviser, investment banker, securities attorney, and bond, underwriter, and issuer counsel.

He served as a principal author of the Government Finance Officers Association’s disclosure guidelines, the first edition of Disclosure Roles of Counsel, a National Federation of Municipal Analysts White Paper, and other market-guidance publications. Doty has also served as a director and officer of numerous market organizations.


Todd Meierhenry is a practicing bond attorney in South Dakota.

From Turmoil to Tomorrow is available at