Bond issuance is declining in muniland

By Cate Long
June 2, 2014

Thomson Reuters

There has been plenty of analysis about declining muniland bond issuance at the gross level, but very little diving down into more specific monthly data. MSRB’s EMMA platform provides the data for parsing.

Visualizing muniland

By Cate Long
May 29, 2014

If you are an investor, an analyst or a taxpayer, finding information about the outstanding debt for a state or a city is a mixed lot. Some issuers, like New York City and Connecticut, do an excellent job of providing information. Massachusetts remains the gold standard. Many other issuers though have out-of-date and incomplete information.

Muniland will keep shrinking

By Cate Long
May 23, 2014

Thomson Reuters

One of muniland’s most accurate forecasters, Tom Kozlik of Janney Capital Markets, has some astonishing numbers in a new report. He predicts that total municipal bond sales for 2014 will drop to between $250 and $275 billion. That is a big fall from 2013 issuance of $330 billion. Here are some of the factors that Kozlik used to develop his rationale for a shrinking muniland:

S&P tells muni issuers to disclose bank loans

By Cate Long
May 16, 2014

Eight out of ten times when state and local governments need to borrow money, they go to the municipal bond market. The public information repository EMMA, which is offered by the MSRB, allows anyone and everyone to assess how the borrowing affects the borrower’s capital structure and predict whether bondholders will be paid back.

Knowing the best way to trade municipal bonds

By Cate Long
May 7, 2014

For retail investors, it has always been a little murky where their municipal bond trades are executed. Municipal bonds can officially trade on the New York Stock Exchange Bonds platform, but they rarely do. Instead, almost all municipal bond trades happen over-the-counter between dealers via alternative trading platforms like Bonddesk (a part of Tradeweb that is majority-owned by Thomson Reuters) or The MuniCenter. Unlike the equity market, municipal bond brokers are not required to disclose where they execute a specific trade.

Shrinking muniland

By Cate Long
April 29, 2014

Muniland continues to shrink, except for one small corner, seen in the fourth chart below. The charts are from SIFMA’s US Municipal Credit Report, First Quarter 2014:

The Treasury wades into muniland

By Cate Long
April 21, 2014

The U.S. Treasury Department has organized a new office to monitor the municipal bond market, along with state and local finances and public pensions. Reuters reports:

New analytical tools for muniland

By Cate Long
April 16, 2014

Some great new tools have arrived in muniland that begin to stretch the boundaries of how we organize and process our endless information. Staying on top of 80,000 municipal issuers, 50 states and unlimited private activity issuers is no easy task. Check out some of the new arrivals:

Muniland’s multi-purpose plumbing

By Cate Long
March 31, 2014

The risks of municipal default and bond insurance: Part 2

By Cate Long
March 27, 2014

When I put up a post about bond insurance and default rates last week, I expected pushback from proponents of municipal insurance. I got some.