What We’ve Learned from Municipal Distress

Is the municipal bond market on the verge of collapse? You might think so, given the blaring headlines about a few big disasters in the last year. But as my colleague Joe Rosenblum explains below, poor decision making, not systemic issues, has caused the most serious problems.

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General Obligation Bonds Were Never Risk Free

You may have seen an article on the front page of The New York Times business section on December 23, “Bankruptcy Filing Raises Doubts About a Bond Repayment Pledge”. In our view, it is inflammatory. Below, my colleague Joseph Rosenblum offers a more balanced approach.

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Are Utility Bonds Vulnerable to a Municipal Raid?

A reader who saw our recent article, “Navigating Rocky Municipal Bond Markets,” asked whether any essential service bonds were downgraded this year, and suggested that municipal bond issuers might load up, or even hide, excess debt in its water districts. Here’s the reply from Joseph Rosenblum and our municipal credit team.

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Is the Euro Zone at the Beginning of the End of Muddling Through?

This week’s series of high-level meetings in Europe is being billed as make or break for the euro. The good news is that European politicians finally seem to realize the extreme seriousness of the current situation. But any agreement at this Friday’s summit of all 27 euro-area countries is likely to stop short of anything [...]

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Navigating Rocky Municipal Bond Markets

Despite the uncertain impact of recent difficult economic conditions on tax collections, we see significant opportunity to add value in the US municipal bond market. Below, my colleague Michael Brooks reviews where we see the best rewards for risk.

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Jefferson County Bankruptcy: Who Will Feel the Pain?

In response to our recent article on the Jefferson County bankruptcy, a reader asked “What and how much will be the settlement? Who pays and who gets the pain?” My colleague Michael Brooks replies below.

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Excessive Leverage: The Root of All Financial Crises

Today’s European sovereign-debt crisis has much in common with other seemingly unrelated crises of the past decade. The common element? Too much leverage.

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Recent Bad Economic News Doesn’t Spell Muni Bond Defaults

While renewed concerns about economic growth cloud the outlook for US state and local tax collections, we don’t envision a rash of municipal bond defaults if tax collections are lower than expected. Here’s a recent report from my colleague Guy Davidson.

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