Market Commentaries

Yields Remain Low, Volatility Increases

September 2012

September began with “AAA” rated, 10-year non-taxable municipal bonds yielding 1.70%. 10-year bond yields spiked mid-month to 1.93% and ended the month and 3rd quarter yielding 1.70%. The supply of new issues slowed this past month relative to Septembe …


2012 Mid-Year Municipal Market & Credit Update

August 2012

It’s important to frame the developments in the broader financial markets over the last six to twelve months before discussing the municipal market’s continued ability to absorb issuer-specific credit events. Roughly a year ago, the United States’ trip …


Some perspective on the recent California bankruptcies

July 2012

There have been three municipalities that have either filed or have voted to approve filing bankruptcy in California in the past year: Stockton, Mammoth Lakes and most recently, San Bernardino. Stockton and San Bernardino went bankrupt due to the “usua …


Municipal Bondholders 1, Jefferson County Newspeak 0

June 2012

Score one for bondholders. A federal judge ruled in June that Jefferson County, Alabama could not reduce debt payments while in bankruptcy in order to spend more of the system’s net operating revenues on its aging sewage system. County’s Orwe …


Treasuries Continue to Rally, Municipal Bonds Less Affected

May 2012

Renewed questions as to the health of the European Economic Union coupled with news of slowing growth in China, India and here at home sparked a strong rally in the Treasury market this past month. Treasuries rally more pronounced While this …


“Intercalary” February: An Extra Day of Bond News

February 2012

Leap Year means 29 days in February 2012, so there is an extra day of bond news this month.New issue supply remained modest, demand strongThe new issue supply of municipal bonds remained fairly modest in February and investor demand remained strong dur …


Back To Municipal Bond Basics

January 2012

“You could see 50 sizable defaults, 50 to 100 sizable defaults, more. This will amount to hundreds of billions of dollars worth of defaults.” – “60 Minutes”, Meredith Whitney commentary, December 2010   “The notion that many bond investors have th …


Municipal Market Minefield Maneuvering in Perspective

January 2012

Last month I was invited to participate in an hour-long discussion hosted and aired live by InvestmentNews, Muni Markets: Maneuvering Through the Minefield. The content was wide-ranging and lively. Over the past few years, we have written about a numbe …


Bond Rally Continues

January 2012

The bond market’s powerful December rally continued unabated into the first month of the year. Bond yields declined to near historic lows in both the U.S. Treasury and municipal bond sectors. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 1.80% on January 31st ver …


Widest Municipal Yield Spread in Two Years, Bankruptcy Update

November 2011

Municipal bond prices held up surprisingly well during the month, despite an increased supply of new municipal bond issues following months of low issuance.Municipal yield spread against Treasuries widest in two yearsThe 10 year, “A” rated MMD Index bo …