Municipal Markets >>>

    Guam, Virgin Islands Favored Over Puerto Rico

    Municipal investors looking for a getaway from the lowest yields in a generation are favoring Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands over Puerto Rico as their destination of choice. Issuers from Guam, the U.S. island about 4,000 miles west of Hawaii, have gained 11 percent this year, more than any state or territory, Barclays Plc data show. The Virgin Islands have earned 10 percent. [...]

    Analysts Predict Muni Rally May End in 2013

    After the biggest rally in U.S. local bonds in more than a decade, investors should prepare for the first year of losses since 2008, analysts at Morgan Stanley and Municipal Market Advisors predict. To continue reading click here

    Californians Grow Weary of Revolt, Vote Taxes

    With the passage of the first voterbacked statewide tax increase in eight years, Californians sent a clear signal they are tired of failing schools, gridlocked roads and the deterioration over the past decade of the state’s reputation as a standard bearer. They approved Proposition 30, 54 percent to 46 percent, taking a step away from the legacy of Proposition 13, the 1978 initiative [...]

    Student-Exporter New Jersey Asks College Bond

    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and lawmakers are pushing for the state’s first general-obligation bond issue for higher education in almost 25 years in a bid to reduce the nation’s biggest exodus of college students. Voters in the 11th-most populous state, devastated by Hurricane Sandy this week, are set to decide Nov. 6 on a $750 million bond for college construction. [...]

    N.Y. Giants’ Hometown Penalized by Standoff

    The National Football League’s New York Giants sit atop their division. Their New Jersey hometown is in the fiscal cellar. East Rutherford, a suburb of 8,900 people about 13 miles (21 kilometers) west of Manhattan, is struggling to assemble the state’s tardiest budget as it battles the team over a tax bill. Investor patience is wearing thin with the borough, which [...]

    California Now Leads U.S. Out of Housing Bust

            California, the state that led the U.S. into the housing boom and bust with some of the most reckless subprime mortgage lending, is now leading the way out.   A plunge in new defaults in California helped push U.S. foreclosure filings to the lowest level in almost five years, according to RealtyTrac Inc., [...]

    Atwater Declares Emergency

    Atwater, California, declared a fiscal emergency and told almost a quarter of its employees they will lose their jobs as it seeks to avoid becoming the state’s fourth city to seek bankruptcy protection. The town of 28,000, situated among Merced County’s dairies and almond groves about 100 miles southeast of San Francisco, has a $3.3 million deficit that may leave it insolvent [...]

    Localities’ Debt Now Outperforms States’

    Debt of U.S. cities and towns is poised to beat state securities for the first time since 2009 as localities’ higher yields and efforts to cut workers lure investors in the $3.7 trillion municipal-bond market. School districts, counties and cities have been more aggressive than states in cutting employees to lower costs in the past four years following the worst recession since the [...]

    Opinion, Not Fact

    The Thomson Municipal Market Data benchmark AAA curve should be treated by investors as an opinion on the value of a top-grade tax-exempt bond, according to Robert Nelson, a managing analyst who works on the Municipal Market Monitor, or TM3. which produces the benchmark indexes. “One of the important distinctions to make about our data, [...]

    Price Defends Tax-Exemption

    A Republican on the U.S. House’s taxwriting committee said his party is hesitant to curtail the tax exemption for investors in the municipal market, which has been a concern among bond buyers. Debt sold by states and cities generates economic growth and its tax-free status should be preserved, Georgia Representative Tom Price said yesterday at [...]

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