MuniLand

MuniLand Snaps: January 12, 2012

It’s that time of year, when governors are giving their “state of the state” speeches. Here is Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels giving his eighth and final address on Jan. 10, 2012. Bloomberg reports that the governor promoted his legislation to exempt non-union employees from paying dues when working alongside union workers. The Pew Center on the States has a list of the full text and video of all state-of-the-state speeches.

Good Links

The White House: The Obama administration’s report on encouraging “insourcing”

Bond Buyer: MSRB whispers in issuers’ ears to urge Moody’s to add their credit ratings to EMMA system

WSJ: Muniland rating downgrades could accelerate due to weak economy

Bond Buyer: CFTC approves “business conduct” rules for swaps dealers when they deal with muniland

Reuters: Raymond James buys Morgan Keegan, merging two regional muniland powerhouses

MuniLand Snaps: January 11, 2012

The special-interest group Building America’s Future is pushing for transportation funding to remain unchanged as Congress gears up to debate a new surface transportation bill. BAF is running this ad in primary states, presumably under the assumption that advertising in primary states is the most cost-effective way to influence legislation. Source: The Hill

Good Links

Bloomberg:  MUB, the municipal bond ETF, has become the liquidity tool of choice for fund managers

Reuters: $287 billion in municipal bond issuance for 2011

Bloomberg: CFTC to rein in swaps dealers over sales of derivatives to muniland

WSJ: “The days of being happy sitting on autopilot are over”

O’Reilly Radar: Citizen-sourcing better ideas

Remapping Debate: Squandered decades have left Detroit balkanized and insolvent

MuniLand Snaps: January 10, 2012

Code for America is a non-profit incubator providing a place to develop new and unique civic projects that take advantage of the web. It’s been described as a “Peace Corps for geeks.” Its tagline is: “Helping governments work better for everyone with the people and the power of the web.” Code for America is taking applications for fellowships now.

Good Links

WaPo: The earth has fallen off its axis: Healthcare costs only rose 0.1% last year

Governing: Local governments cut 181,000 jobs in 2011

WSJ: Does a few months of slowing muniland job cuts make a trend?

MSRB: Muniland’s overseer seeks applicants for its board of directors

Bond Buyer: Two more plead guilty to municipal bid-rigging

Barrons: Small municipal bond supply should keep prices high and yields low

Bloomberg: Fracking debate moves up a notch as American doctors push for a moratorium

MuniLand Snaps: January 9, 2012

Alaska has a land mass one-fifth the size of the continental United States. Watch the video to see how the Alaska State Legislature uses technology to reach citizens in remote parts of the state.

Good Links

NYT: Under Obama, a record decline in government jobs

MSRB: Muniland overseer’s 2011 Annual Report details a lot of progress in reforming the municipal market

Bond Buyer: Municipal bond dealers likely to get new fee to fund accounting standards board

MuniLand Snaps: January 6, 2012

America is a big country and data for the economy is not always perfect. Here are two data sets for new employment. From Conor Sen.

Good Links

IMF: The sustainability of pension schemes

NY Fed: School district finances and the Great Recession

The American Interest: The Continuing Tragicomedy of the USPS

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft: The potential impact of the Volcker Rule on municipal bonds

MuniNetGuide: An argument for why municipal bonds should remain tax-exempt

Bloomberg: California governor attacks “wall of debt”

Bloomberg: Ohio mayor buys quake insurance as he seeks answers on fracking

MSRB EMMA: Investors buying and selling insolvent Harrisburg bonds must think that they won’t be haircut

MuniLand Snaps: January 5, 2012

The United States plows along at a 1.5% average growth rate. Meanwhile state tax revenues are coming in much stronger. Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Good Links

Bond Buyer: Who on earth dreamed up this convoluted municipal bond scheme?

Bloomberg View: Wall Street’s big swingers get the biggest breaks

Bloomberg: Institutional bond fund manager says municipal bank loans OK with disclosure

Bond Buyer: Illinois’ unfunded pension obligations grew by about $7 billion

AP: States change how they recruit foster parents

State of Michigan: Foster care rates

WAMC: First “environmental justice” contention accepted for hearing at the Atomic Safety Licensing Board

MuniLand Snaps: January 4, 2012

The City of Chicago mashes up information about snow removal, and throws in some social media coolness, too. Source: GovTech

Good Links

Center for the Study of the Public Domain: Why the public domain matters

Bloomberg: Corner turned? Fifteen states report revenue exceeding projections

Bond Buyer: The IRS has found a good use for bond pricing data from MSRB’s EMMA system

Bond Buyer: Municipal bond issuance for 2011 at $295 billion

Bloomberg: The 10th “dump on Meredith Whitney” story, but this one is good

MuniLand Snaps: January 3, 2012

Start 2012 with an excellent 8 minute video on the opportunities and stumbling blocks ahead for muniland. Source: Bloomberg

+Good Links+

Bloomberg: The top SEC settlements of 2011 including many in muniland

Cheap Talk: Make municipal budgets comprehensible to high school graduates

Reason: Do state and local governments really have a revenue problem?

Investment News: Full speed ahead for muniland in 2012

Bond Buyer: Lots of muniland talk in Washington, DC but little chance of new laws

Bloomberg: States seek internet lottery jackpots after U.S. legal ruling

Buffalo News: The prisons of America are full – blame New York

 

@Twitter Talk

Joe Cirincione @Cirincione Joe Cirincione   How I cut $487.5 billion in defense spending  nytimes.com/interactive/20… via @nytgraphics

MuniLand Snaps: December 30, 2011

The drop in mortgage rates never seems to stop. Source: Freddie Mac

Best wishes to all for a safe, healthy and prosperous 2012. Muniland had a very good 2011 and everyone will be working hard to right the fiscal ship in 2012.

Good Links

Philly Clout: Retire on Friday, collect a six-figure pension payment, and then return to work

Barron’s: Last week of 2011 had $362 million of muni bond inflows

HuffPo: Claws out for Meredith Whitney

Bond Buyer: California Supreme Court allows dissolution of the state’s redevelopment agencies

MuniLand Snaps: December 29, 2011

The U.S. Department of Energy produces some great data visualizations. The image above relates to installations of “smart meters” for electrical use.

Good Links

City Journal: Urban-development legends

Bluegrass Pundit: Are welfare recipients really required to work?

Bloomberg: Don’t expect +10% returns in muniland again in 2012

Reuters: U.S. Census: Stock losses hit public pensions

Bloomberg: State, local pension-fund assets drop 8.5% as stocks slide

Bloomberg: Michigan sells $3B of bonds to pay off federal unemployment insurance loans

Denver Post: Colorado asks DEA to reclassify marijuana

@Twitter Talk

Accu Weather @breakingweather Accu Weather   Wild weather rocked the U.S. in 2011 with monster snowstorms, swarms of tornadoes, killer heat & drought.  ow.ly/8d3dP

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