Should retirement be considered a growth industry?

By Cate Long
May 31, 2012

Senior citizens account for a greater share of the population of Florida than of any other state in the country: 18.1 percent of the residents of the Sunshine State are over the age of 65, compared with the national weighted average of 12.7 percent. There are some obvious reasons for the state’s popularity among the elderly: It has excellent winter weather and is one of nine states with no income tax.

The Marlins’ new home, courtesy of taxpayers

By Cate Long
April 4, 2012

Kevin Grey of Reuters wrote a delightful piece describing the opening of the the new home of the Miami Marlins. The stadium has all the touristy bells and whistles that you would expect from a state that brought us Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World:

Muniland’s most active states

By Cate Long
January 10, 2012

In the municipal bond market, one of the most insightful ways to examine a state is to look at how actively its bonds trade. Broker-dealers make money by trading, so naturally they go where the action is and commit market-making resources to those states. It’s generally true that the most populous states are the ones with the most traded bonds, but if we map the wealth of a state’s citizens to how often that state’s bonds trade, we get some interesting results. For example, New Jersey, which has only 2.8 percent of the national population but a high proportion of its wealthy citizens, might have the highest number of municipal bond owners as a percentage of state population.

The forgotten American homeless

By Cate Long
November 28, 2011

CBS’s 60 Minutes showed a heartbreaking story last night that described several homeless families with children in Florida. The segment, entitled “Hard Times Generation: Families living in cars” (embedded above), detailed families living at the absolute edge of economic survival as they slept in their cars, in hotel rooms and with neighbors. In a deflating economy with few available jobs, they are the invisible underbelly. Big kudos to 60 Minutes for bringing their plight to our attention.

New leadership for muniland’s regulator

By Cate Long
August 16, 2011

New chair for muniland’s regulator

New leadership has been announced at the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, muniland’s primary regulator. Alan Polsky of Dougherty & Co., the incoming MSRB chairman, has spent much of his career working towards increased transparency in the muni secondary market where bonds trade after issuance. This is great news. From the Bond Buyer:

Muni sweeps: How much job creation?

By Cate Long
May 27, 2011

Job creation or program pass-through?

The Congressional Budget Office has published a new report entitled “Estimated Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on Employment and Economic Output from January 2011 Through March 2011.” It makes some large claims about how many jobs stimulus funds have created:

Open Palm Bay UPDATED

By Cate Long
May 20, 2011

I’m very happy to present a guest post from Mr. Lee Feldman, the City Manager of Palm Bay, Florida. City Manager Feldman is a superstar of muniland transparency. Read how he and his team developed a fully open financial-reporting system to engage and empower the citizens of Palm Bay.  [UPDATE: On Tuesday, it was announced that Mr. Feldman would soon leave his position in Palm Bay to take over as city manager of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.]

Let’s give Meredith some credit

By Cate Long
May 6, 2011

Everybody beats up on Meredith Whitney for her muniland panic call.

Yesterday she doubled down on her prediction of “hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth” of municipal-bond defaults.

Muni sweeps: Arbor Day

By Cate Long
April 29, 2011


Among other things today is National Arbor Day.

It’s time to be thankful for our wonderful trees. Some municipalities make the preservation and addition of trees a centerpiece of town planning.