MuniLand Snaps: August 13

Here is Brian Uhler of the California Legislative Analyst Office addressing questions about the use of Chapter 9 bankruptcy by municipalities in California. Read more here.

Also, starting tomorrow, MuniLand will be on holiday until August 22. See you then!

Good Reads

Governing: Pension plan changes pose challenges for lawmakers

Bond Buyer: California’s $10 billion Ran sale tied as largest ever

Morgan Stanley: Muni bankruptcy: More lessons

Bloomberg: New Orleans murder rate climbs as city begins overhaul of police

Reuters: Bond sale to boost Detroit cash flow set for Thursday

Alliance Berstein: Could tax reform hurt municipal bond prices?

@Twitter Talk




MuniLand Snaps: August 10

The story of the federal government in one simple chart. Bloomberg’s Scarlet Fu shows how government spending on entitlements rose as the level of government investment decreased.

Good Reads

WaPo: A Golden State train wreck

Assured Guaranty: Preliminary objection to Stockton bankruptcy filing

The Record: Bankruptcy challenge cites CalPERS bias

Reuters: Bond insurer contests Stockton bankruptcy over pensions

Press Enterprise: San Bernardino: Rifts erupt at city level

Bloomberg: Massachusetts sees 8 percent pension gains shunned by CalPERS

MSRB: MSRB seeks comment on proposal to enhance protections for online municipal investors

Bond Buyer: MSRB proposes protections for online retail investors

@Twitter Talk

MuniLand Snaps: August 9

The current U.S. drought monitor. To view regional drought conditions, click through the map. State maps can be accessed from regional maps.

Good Links

CBPP: Deficit-reduction package without new revenues would shift costs to states and localities

Reuters: Connecticut’s pension fund assets slip 0.9 percent in FY 12 Four major pro sports leagues sue to stop New Jersey from allowing betting

MuniLand Snaps: August 8

Good Links

Tax Foundation: Governor Brown’s tax proposal and the folly of California’s income tax

Bloomberg: Brown redevelopment fund seizure drives increase in city taxes

The Record: Opinion: Christie’s rhetoric does not match reality

Reuters: Puerto Rico bonds were the most actively traded in 2nd quarter 2012

Montana Watchdog: Commentary: Tax exempt status for municipal bonds on endangered list?

MuniLand Snaps: August 7

Useful graphic from the Tax Foundation on states’ increasing reliance on revenue from income taxes.

Good Links

Reuters: State budgets face “considerable challenges”: study

Mercury News: California Democrats will deliver on “comprehensive” pension reform

Press Enterprise: San Bernardino council votes to ease the rules for laying off employees

MuniLand Snaps: August 3

Firefighter Hays explains what a “Jump Company” is for the Evanston, Illinois “5 Alarm Tweet Along”.

Good Links

Army Times: Defense contractors rally against budget cuts

SEC: SEC names John Cross director of the Municipal Securities Office SEC report reveals house of bonds turned into den of thieves

Rockefeller Institute: States continue to collect more taxes through early 2012, report finds

Cultural Landscape Foundation: New Jersey’s “done deal”: destroying a historic resource

MuniLand Snaps: August 2

Treat yourself to a visual delight as you gaze on the wonders of America’s statehouses. Photos by Dan Vock of

Good Links

Reuters: Municipal adviser bill advances in U.S. House

MSRB: MSRB announces new board members for 2013

AllianceBernstein: The underfunded pension: States take action

CPER: Fiscal insolvency under AB 506: death by a thousand meetings

The Sun: San Bernardino files for bankruptcy

Bloomberg: Police chief’s $204,000 pension shows how cities crashed

NYS Comptroller: Most cities in stress, struggling to keep financial houses in order

@Twitter Talk

MuniLand Snaps: August 1

Hat tip: Business Insider.

Good Links

Fiscal Times: 5 percent of Americans spend 50 percent of healthcare dollars

SEC: Report on the municipal securities market

Reuters: SEC seeks more investor protections for U.S. municipal bond market

Bond Buyer: SEC muni report seeks 15 major legislative, regulatory changes

WSJ: SEC seeks controls on muni market

NASRA Issue Brief: Public-pension-plan investment return assumptions

ZeroHedge: On the financial press

Fox News: Unions essentially owned Vallejo’s leaders, whom they helped get elected.

@Twitter Talk

MuniLand Snaps: July 31

The Cato Institute’s daily podcast tries to answer the question: Will your local cops use drones?

Good Links

NYT: Bill Keller: The entitled generation

NYT: Excellent recap of the Chris Christie road show

The Record: Stockton seems to win medical benefit ruling

San Bernardino Sun: Loss of redevelopment money adds to San Bernardino’s financial crisis

The Press Enterprise: San Bernardino County seeking voter approval for future pension increases

MuniLand Snaps: July 30

The Wall Street Journal‘s David Wessel has a new book about the federal budget and the politics around it. From NPR:

The book is called Red Ink: Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget, and it breaks down the budget in stark terms: how the government spends its money, who pays what in taxes, and why politicians can’t reduce a potentially catastrophic debt load.

Good Links

USA Today: Comparing droughts: 1934 and 2012

WSJ: California still dominates foreclosure scene

Reuters: California official chastises SIFMA over eminent domain “threats”

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