Muniland’s Central Transparency Platform: My survey

By Cate Long
November 1, 2013

The MSRB has published a concept release about how it should design the new Central Transparency Platform (CTP). For the first time ever in muniland it will also gather and collect information on bids and offers before bond transactions occur (pre-trade). This information will be made available to the public. Here is how the MSRB describes the project:

Infant Moscow muni bond market resembles U.S.

By Cate Long
October 7, 2013

For those of us in muniland used to massively oversubscribed municipal bond offerings, this report from the Moscow Times came as a shock:

Puerto Rico’s borrowing goes private

By Cate Long
September 5, 2013

Barron’s ran a cover story last week and more articles followed in the financial press about the economic disabilities of Puerto Rico. These disabilities have been fueling a sell-off of the commonwealth’s public debt. Here is a chart showing the spread (or extra yield) that Puerto Rico bonds have had over the last three months:

A fund manager looks over muniland

By Cate Long
September 3, 2013

Here is a broad sweeping statement for you: there is a lot of group-thinking in all markets, and when I talk to participants far outside of New York, I tend to find their thinking more individual and reasoned. I recently chatted with Jeffery Elswick of Frost Investment Advisors’ Total Return Bond Fund, who is based in San Antonio, Texas. The fund is generally classified as a core, intermediate investment grade bond fund that buys all kinds of bonds, including taxable munis. Morningstar gives the fund five stars.

Alternative trading system BondDesk up for sale

By Cate Long
September 1, 2013

Reuters reported this week that the retail focused corporate and municipal bond trading platform BondDesk is up for sale:

What happened to Chicago’s bonds?

By Cate Long
August 29, 2013

Last week, on August 23rd, an unlimited tax general obligation bond for Chicago  had a disastrous performance.

Wobbly muniland markets

By Cate Long
August 25, 2013

Just some chart play today. Notice all the weak spots.

Chart 1 and 2 are from Morgan Stanley’s August Municipal Bond Monthly.

S&P Muni Index data is here.

Check me out on Reuters Insider. Insider is a free Thompson Reuters video service for finance professionals covering multiple asset classes.

Muniland is shrinking

By Cate Long
August 20, 2013

Muniland bond issuance is slowing, according to Thomson Reuters data. Year-to-date issuance through June was $176 billion versus $194 billion in the same period a year ago. Thomson Reuters broke down the data by the largest issuing states and region of the country above. The West, likely fueled by California, and the Southwest were the only regions that borrowed more this year than last. It would be interesting to map this against economic growth across the country.

Muniland, meet your issuers

By Cate Long
August 15, 2013

The deafening roar has subsided

By Cate Long
August 6, 2013

The recent sell-off in fixed income markets, led by the decline in U.S. Treasuries, was big by historical standards. Here the Federal Reserve Bank of New York compares past Treasury bond sell-offs with the most recent one. The recent rout was much deeper and more sustained than most in history.