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Municipal Bonds

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  • NEW YORK, Nov 24- Longtime Wall Street strategist Richard Bernstein hasn't quite gotten used to investors' reactions when he tells them his favorite asset class for 2015 is the same as in 2014- high- yield municipal bonds. Nevertheless, Bernstein said on Monday he sees high-yield munis as an undervalued asset class, with yields in some cases rivaling or exceeding...

  • Issuers face a Dec. 1 deadline to report disclosure violations to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the regulator's latest stab at strengthening regulation of the $3.7 trillion municipal market. In the last two years, the SEC has charged cities, school districts and even a state with failing to disclose required information. Next year the SEC plans on "...

  • NEW YORK, Nov 10- The escalating cost to service Puerto Rico's debt is one reason why its bonds are not attractive at current prices, a major municipal bond investor said on Monday. Traditional municipal bond investors have been largely avoiding junk-rated Puerto Rico, which has a debt load of more than $70 billion, leaving it partly reliant on banks and hedge...

  • TIMELINE-A history of Detroit's fiscal problems Friday, 7 Nov 2014 | 6:02 PM ET

    Nov 7- A U.S. judge on Friday confirmed Detroit's plan to exit the largest-ever municipal bankruptcy. -Detroit's descent into fiscal insolvency can be traced back to the waning days of long-time Mayor Coleman Young's administration, when the city was already deep in debt and struggling with a budget deficit. Both Young and the Michigan state treasurer raised...

  • DETROIT, Nov 7- Detroit won U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval on Friday for a road map to end its fiscal free fall and revitalize a city sinking under a huge debt load and dysfunctional government. He acknowledged the anger the bankruptcy fueled among many Detroit residents and urged them to look forward. Once the proud symbol of U.S. industrial strength, Detroit fell...

  • Did this just change the game for muni investors? Thursday, 6 Nov 2014 | 9:51 AM ET
    Cars drive down Grand River Avenue in Detroit with the city's skyline in the background.

    Recent bankruptcy proceedings in Detroit and elsewhere should raise a giant warning flag for investors, says UBS's head of muni investing.

  • BRASILIA, Nov 5- The Brazilian Senate approved a bill on Wednesday that lowers the debt burden of states and municipalities, opening the way for regional governments to spend more at a time of growing concern about the country's fiscal health. The bill, which was supported by government lawmakers as well as the opposition, will add pressure on newly re-elected...

  • Nov 1- Voters in several U.S. states will decide the fate of $44.7 billion in borrowing and other budget measures on Tuesday, with investors in the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market focused mainly on large offerings in California and New York. "Just two states, California and New York, are presenting voters with meaningful bond measures for approval," Peter Hayes,...

  • New junk bond risk: It matters who owns what Friday, 31 Oct 2014 | 12:13 AM ET

    Add a new concern to the stable of high-yield bond risks: ownership of some companies' issuance has become concentrated with just a few fund managers.

  • A handful of the Nov. 4 races such as the dead heat in Illinois, possibly the most fiscally dysfunctional state, shape up as de facto referendums on reform and their results could make municipal bond investors alter their bets. "People are not so much voting for governor in some of these states but how they want the pensions addressed," said Craig Brandon, Co-Director...

  • SHANGHAI, Oct 24- China is asserting control over once-chaotic local government financing by banning the use of opaque funding vehicles, but filling the gap with a huge expansion of the fledgling municipal bond market will raise a whole new set of problems. Chastened by promiscuous local investment in response to the 2008 global financial crisis, Beijing...

  • SHANGHAI, Oct 21- A draft document circulated by China's Ministry of Finance on local government debt proposes letting them issue bonds to replace borrowings taken through opaque financing vehicles, according to people who have seen the draft. This lending was originally encouraged by Beijing to stimulate the economy and offset the impact of the 2008/ 2009...

  • NEW YORK, Oct 17- U.S. states and cities are urging regulators to let banks treat municipal bonds as liquid assets, arguing in a letter that munis are among the safest investments and "highly tradeable." "We urge your agencies to amend your recent decision to not treat municipal securities as High Quality Liquid Assets," said a letter, dated Oct. 16 and signed by...

  • Kaminsky: Munis best asset class  Wednesday, 15 Oct 2014 | 10:20 AM ET

    Morgan Stanley's Gary Kaminsky discusses the panic at Wednesday's market open, saying municipal bonds have remained the best asset class.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 10- Puerto Rico paid a steep price to complete a $1.2 bln short-term financing deal on Friday as bonds of the indebted commonwealth slipped to a three-month low and recent data showed the economy and tax revenues remain weak. Puerto Rico paid an interest rate of nearly 8 percent to borrow from a syndicate of banks until next June, the commonwealth's...

  • NEW YORK, Oct 9- Moody's "manipulated" public pension data in a way that has presented an excessively bleak picture of the $3.7 trillion sector, an advocacy group for state pension funds said in a hard-hitting open letter to the ratings agency. The letter, dated Oct. 8, follows the publication of a report by Moody's last month that claimed public pension liabilities...

  • DETROIT, Oct 6- Detroit may take years before fully functioning as a city, its mayor said on Monday as he gave a tepid blessing to the plan for ending the city's historic bankruptcy. Mayor Mike Duggan was the last witness called by Detroit's attorneys, who then rested the city's case in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court hearing on the plan to adjust $18 billion of debt.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 1- The U.S. bond market may be teetering on the brink of a "liquidity cliff" and appears to be an asset "bubble" that could burst once interest rates start to rise again, a top U.S. securities regulator said on Wednesday. "Everybody knows that this is a cliff that is coming," said Securities and Exchange Commission Republican member Daniel Gallagher, in...

  • NEW YORK, Oct 1- Investors in U.S.-based mutual funds committed a net $831 million to bond funds in the week ended Sept. 24 on continued appetite for tax-free municipal debt, data from the Investment Company Institute showed on Wednesday. "This is just a yield-chasing play," said David Keeble, global head of fixed income strategy at Credit Agricole in New York.

  • Jack Bogle: Bill Gross career move is Pimco's loss Sunday, 28 Sep 2014 | 1:00 PM ET
    Jack Bogle

    In a wide-ranging conversation, Bogle held forth on the Federal Reserve, hedge funds, and how individuals can "own their age."