Must infrastructure spending shrink along with muniland?

By Cate Long
September 6, 2011

Paul Krugman at the New York Times has a good graph that shows a substantial withdrawal of government demand from the economy. He attributed this to the decline of federal government stimulus to state and local governments as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act winds down. There is also another factor that is reducing government demand: state and local governments are issuing less debt, which in turn creates fewer building projects and construction jobs.

Money doesn’t make graduates

By Cate Long
August 24, 2011

Chart data

It is hard to make comparisons between different states’ data on public schooling because each one is faced with unique conditions. That said, the data above is pretty striking. The graph shows the public school dropout rate — the percentage of students dropping out annually — and the amount of public money spent per student per year, in thousands of dollars. You can see that there is not a lot of correlation spending and the dropout rate. Spending more doesn’t educate more students.

Muni sweeps: Derivatives transparency for dummies

By Cate Long
June 3, 2011

Downdraft

The colorful chart above is from Lisa Pollock of Markit and shows the states which have the most traded credit-default swaps and their spreads to the benchmark. Bloomberg has more on that theme.

Muni sweeps: Education reform for Illinois

By Cate Long
May 13, 2011

Happy Friday all!

Illinois passes landmark education reform

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Illinois state legislature has passed a substantial education reform bill. The legislation severely restrains the power of the teachers’ unions:

Don’t educate, don’t grow

By Cate Long
May 2, 2011

New analysis from Daniel Berger of Thomson Reuters Municipal Market Data suggests that greater levels of advanced education equals higher growth and muni bond ratings.