Since the financial crisis, municipal bonded debt outstanding has increased at a snail’s pace of 0.51% per year. With corporate debt growing at an annual pace of 5.33% and Treasuries at 10.18%, it appears the average municipal government has demonstrated relative fiscal restraint. In the 7 years leading up the 2008-2009 financial crisis, municipal debt grew at an average annual pace of…
The U.S. economy is firing on all cylinders right now. Small business confidence has reached all-time highs, jobless claims are near 49 year lows, while household net worth continues to climb into record territory. Federal Reserve Bank of New York President, John Williams, recently noted the economy is “about as good as it gets.” This growth spurt appears in what is now the second longest expansion cycle in history (111 months). Importantly, today’s growth is paired with stable inflation, which keeps the Fed’s dual mandate in check and enables a patient path of rate hikes in the near future. When will the rate hikes end and what will be the resulting shape of the yield curve? These are two pressing questions for market participants…and even the Fed itself. That said, based on history, the current shape of the yield curve indicates a recession is still years away.
Tax reform largely left the municipal bond market intact, though a bit squeezed, and it remains an attractive space for individual investors. We are satisfied with the outcome and are also grateful as American citizens and taxpayers that Congress largely left the market unhindered in its ability to fund the bulk (~75%) of our nation’s infrastructure.
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Grand Traverse County, MI – Township of Blair…
City of Kalamazoo, MI Wastewater System
South Bend, IN Park District
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