MuniLand Snaps: April 4

By Cate Long
April 4, 2012

Watch Texas Justice on PBS. See more from Need to Know.

There are surprises everywhere in muniland. Here is one I learned about from PBS: Despite leading the nation in executions, “Texas has been a pioneer in finding alternatives to prison – as a way to control costs and to prevent convicts from returning.”

MuniLand Snaps: April 3

By Cate Long
April 3, 2012

 

The troubles in Jefferson County, Alabama got a little more complicated last week as the County Commission voted to default on $15 million of general obligation (GO) bonds. Up to this point, the city has been meeting the payments for its GO debt, which is separate from its troubled sewer debt. The County Commission voted to default on the GO debt to have the funds to pay for essential city services. In response the state legislature, which must approve any tax increases for the county, may have been spurred into action. (Video, care of CBS42.com)

MuniLand Snaps: March 29, 2012

By Cate Long
March 29, 2012

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority is planning to issue new revenue bonds designated as Series 2012A (Moody’s rating: Baa1; sale amount: $455,000,000; expected sale date: Apr. 9, 2012). The data for electric power use, which sustains the payments for these revenue bonds, is published on a monthly basis by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). You can also download the data from their official website.

MuniLand Snaps: March 28, 2012

By Cate Long
March 28, 2012

The Treasury created this excellent chart about long-term deficits. Click in the image to see a bigger version.

MuniLand Snaps: March 27, 2012

By Cate Long
March 27, 2012

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder speaks about working for the residents of Detroit to stabilize the fiscal situation and help the city start growing. It seems likely that the city and state will agree to a deficit elimination plan; some enhancements will allow that plan to qualify as a “consent agreement.” Video from the Detroit News.

MuniLand Snaps: March 26, 2012

By Cate Long
March 26, 2012

While the sharks circle Harrisburg, the French press reports on the fiscally battered city. National Public Radio weighs in on Harrisburg too.

MuniLand Snaps: March 23, 2012

By Cate Long
March 23, 2012

Daniel Berger of Thomson Reuters MMD created this interesting chart comparing municipal bond fund flow data from Lipper and the level of the municipal bond ETF “MUB“. I’m not exactly sure what it’s telling us, but if you have thoughts, please put them in the comments or tweet me @cate_long.

MuniLand Snaps: March 22, 2012

By Cate Long
March 22, 2012

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing talks to Bloomberg’s Mark Crumpton about his efforts to get the city’s fiscal crisis under control. He says that Detroit needs help, not a takeover by the state. Meanwhile, the governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, has spent the week in Europe on a trade mission and left the negotiations for control of Detroit to his staff.

MuniLand Snaps: March 21, 2012

By Cate Long
March 21, 2012

NASA reports: “A huge, lingering ridge of high pressure over the eastern half of the United States brought summer-like temperatures to North America in March 2012. The warm weather shattered records across the central and eastern United States and much of Canada.”

MuniLand Snaps: March 20, 2012

By Cate Long
March 20, 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siJ9Fics_GU

It’s rocky in muniland, and it helps to get a view from those who have navigated the terrain before. Peter Hayes, director and head of the Municipal Bonds Group at BlackRock Fundamental Fixed Income, advises investors to consider risk factors such as a tax policy and negative headlines.