Underfunded pension systems pose significant challenges to many state and local governments. For a few, it’s an immediate problem. But as my colleague Joe Rosenblum explains, for most municipalities, pension troubles aren’t really the proverbial last straw. (more…)
On Tuesday, San Bernardino, California, became the third California city in three weeks to announce its intention to seek bankruptcy protection. Does this mark the beginning of a significant trend toward bankruptcy, particularly in California? My colleague Guy Davidson examines the patterns. (more…)
The financial failure of Stockton, California, is a sad tale of inflated expectations and poor decision making, but it’s not a harbinger of things to come in the US municipal bond market. Stockton is a unique case, as my colleague Guy Davidson explains below.
A municipal portfolio full of bonds with maturities in the 20- to 30-year range is exposed today to the high risk of rising interest rates. As my colleague Wayne Godlin explains, now may be the right time to shorten your duration and lower your credit quality. (more…)
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. (more…)
Taxable US investors usually invest the fixed-income part of their portfolios in municipal bonds. But a tax-aware strategy with the flexibility to look for the highest after-tax return across sectors is likely to be more rewarding over time, as my colleague Terry Hults explains below. (more…)
The financial crisis of the last four years has damaged the financial conditions of cities and states—and municipal bond insurers. In our view, this has increased the value of research and undermined individual investors’ classic approach to municipal bonds: laddering. My colleague Guy Davidson explains why, below and in the Reuters muniland blog. (more…)