Muni Commentary

15c2-12 Best Practices and New Amendments Review

Posted by Gregg Bienstock on Apr 15, 2019 11:08:09 AM

It started with the SEC’s MCDC initiative and Cease and Desist Orders, then it was the resulting enhanced scrutiny of underwriters and now it’s amendments to Rule 15c2-12.  Each has further emphasized the importance of ensuring a complete understanding and management of disclosure obligations and having comprehensive polices and procedures. 

The amendments to Rule 15c2-12 have refocused the spotlight on issuers and their policies, procedures and controls as well as their filing history and ongoing disclosure management.  Our full article (link below) highlights what the market has learned since the MCDC initiative, discusses the Rule 15c2-12 amendments and identifies several resources for your consideration.

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Topics: Legislation, Politics and the Bond Market, Government and Industry Regulatory News

DC Holding Strong Year-Over-Year

Posted by Sue Childs on Apr 2, 2019 11:11:01 AM

According to just released DIVER Geo Scores from Lumesis, Washington, DC continues to be the top state-level location in the US for the month of March. DC held the same distinction a year ago. The District has a Geo Score of 10, the highest score, which is based on multiple, meaningful economic and demographic datapoints from the employment, income and housing categories. DIVER Geo Scores are relative scores designed to quickly communicate the overall economic health of a selected geographic area on a scale of 0 to 10. Rounding out the top 5 for the month are North Dakota (9.8), New Hampshire (9.6), Colorado (9.4) and Massachusetts (9.2)

The Geo Scores also looks at cities and counties. While the State of California ranks 16th with an overall score of 7, the top three performing counties last month are in California: San Mateo, Santa Clara and San Francisco, all with rankings of 10. Some of the State's cities are very strong performers as well.

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Topics: Financial and Demographic Trends Affecting the Mun, Geo Scores: The Changing Economic Health of US Mun

Continuing Disclosure Blues

Posted by Katherine Still on Feb 20, 2019 12:00:00 PM

With the cold winter air hanging around, the early months of the year can often be a time of winter blues. For some municipal debt issuers, it may also be a time of continuing disclosure filing blues. We often hear that there are many pieces of information to track when preparing a filing and, even after filings are made, there is still the worry that something was missed. For example, we have seen situations where a filing was made but was not filed to all the necessary CUSIPs. Or, a financial filing did not contain all of the information that the issuer committed to provide in the Continuing Disclosure Agreement. According to the GFOA Information on Best Practices for Disclosure, even when another firm is hired to prepare and/or submit filings on behalf of the municipal issuer, "Disclosure is the responsibility of the issuer. Others may assist in preparation but the issuer is ultimately responsible for completeness and accuracy."

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Topics: Legislation, Politics and the Bond Market, Government and Industry Regulatory News

Unemployment and Labor Force Movements

Posted by Gregg Bienstock on Nov 6, 2018 2:21:00 PM

According to the DIVER Geo Scores from Lumesis, the employment situation continues to be the top story across all States.  This month, we take a closer look at unemployment and labor force participation as well as touch on foreclosures.

DIVER Geo Scores are designed to quickly communicate the overall economic health of a selected geographic area on a scale of 0 to 10. The Geo Score reflects the relative economic well-being of the location and is available for all States, counties, and approximately 350 of the largest cities. Calculations are released monthly and are based on multiple, meaningful economic and demographic data from the employment, income and housing categories.

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Topics: Commentary

Does a Rising Tide Lift All?

Posted by Sue Childs on Oct 9, 2018 5:31:00 PM

This week we bring you the September 2018 DIVER Geo Scores.  In addition to our regularly collected data, the U.S. Census Bureau released 2017 poverty rates and most states showed decreasing rates year-over-year. But, before we assume that the rising tide is lifting all boats, some states and cities have weaker employment pictures (as reported last month) and increasing foreclosures.

DIVER Geo Scores are designed to quickly communicate the overall economic health of a selected geographic area on a scale of 0 to 10. The Geo Score reflects the relative economic well-being of the location and is available for all States, counties, and approximately 350 of the largest cities. Calculations are released monthly and are based on multiple, meaningful economic and demographic data from the employment, income and housing categories.

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Topics: Commentary

A Look at Labor and Foreclosure Rates

Posted by Sue Childs on Sep 12, 2018 4:49:00 PM

 

This week we bring you the August 2018 DIVER Geo Scores.  With jobless rates continuing to fall across the board, we will take a look at where the biggest improvements are and also how other factors like labor participation rates and foreclosure rates are negatively impacting certain areas of the country.

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Topics: Commentary

Public School Funding Goes Back to School

Posted by Sue Childs on Sep 4, 2018 5:24:00 PM

 

It’s that time of year again. With “Summer days driftin’away[1]” parents are spending money on clothes their kids will grow out of in a few months, and hotel magnates’ adult children are starting kindergarten to “prove to Dad that I am not a fool[2].”

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Topics: Commentary

Survey Results: August 2018 Issuer Survey Regarding 15c2-12 Compliance

Posted by Sue Childs on Sep 1, 2018 5:28:00 PM

In August 2018, Lumesis conducted a survey of municipal issuers regarding the management of their continuing disclosure obligations.  Our outreach was to a finite set of diverse issuers and obligated parties and over 200 responded to the ten question survey.  Below, we provide insight into the survey results.

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Topics: Commentary

What Might Tariffs Mean for States?

Posted by Gregg Bienstock on Aug 20, 2018 5:21:00 PM

 

This week we bring you the July 2018 DIVER Geo Scores.  With the economy seemingly on sound footing, we highlight States, counties and cities with lower Geo Scores and, importantly, those trending lower over the past year.  In the coming weeks, we will revisit import and export sensitive States taking a closer look at trading partners and potential winners and losers from the ongoing tariff threats.

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Topics: Commentary

Place Your Bets

Posted by Gregg Bienstock on Jun 18, 2018 5:18:00 PM

 

With the recent Supreme Court decision overturning the Professional and Amateur Sports Betting Act of 1992, many state governments are changing their laws to allow for legalized betting on professional sports leagues. While sports’ betting was already legal in Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have now quickly passed and implemented legislation to legalize sports betting. As many as 16 other states including New York, West Virginia, and Mississippi are also working on passing legislation to legalize sports betting.

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Topics: Commentary