J.R. Rieger

Head of Fixed Income Indices
S&P Dow Jones Indices
Biography

James “J.R.” Rieger is Head of Fixed Income Indices at S&P Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI). With over 30 years of fixed income experience, J.R. leads S&P DJI’s global fixed income efforts.

Under J.R.’s management, S&P Dow Jones Indices has launched a global suite of fixed income indices, which includes a focus on transparency for municipal, corporate, and high-yield bonds, senior loans, and sovereign debt. Recent innovations include the S&P 500® Bond Index covering corporate bonds issued by the companies in the S&P 500, the S&P U.S. Aggregate Bond Index, as well as indices that track the global developed sovereign, China onshore, Pan Asia, ESG, Indian, and African bond markets.

J.R. serves as the firm’s voice to media outlets on the bond markets, in addition to performance and attribution topics. His research and unique metric innovations are frequently cited in national publications, and he has contributed as a guest on CNBC’s Squawk Box and Bloomberg News. He frequently speaks to industry leaders at conferences around the world on the current state of the global debt markets.

Previously, J.R. was vice president, global evaluations at Standard & Poor’s Securities Evaluations, Inc. Active in the financial community, J.R. is a member of the Fixed Income Analyst Society, the Municipal Bond Club of New York, New York Society of Security Analysts, Municipal Analysts Group of New York, and the National Federation of Municipal Analysts.

In his spare time, J.R. volunteers as a firefighter. He served three years as Chief of the Saltaire Volunteer Fire Company and five years as an Assistant Chief.

Author Archives: J.R. Rieger

Rieger Report: Munis with Equity Like Returns!

Sectors of the boring municipal bond market have seen equity like returns in 2017. However, it is the downtrodden segments of the muni market in the last several months of 2016 that have created the opportunities to generate these “equity like returns.” The S&P Municipal bond Tobacco Index, down over 6.7% in the last three months of 2016  has recorded a total return Read more […]

Rieger Report: Munis – “The Kids are Alright”

As we approach the mid-year point of 2017 the muni bond market has not been shaken by a heavy news cycle of downgrades, negative watches and ever present Illinois and Puerto Rico downbeat press.  Technical factors play a big role in overcoming this pressure but there are other compelling rationale in support of munis in the Read more […]

Rieger Report: Muni Market’s Moot Reaction to Bond Insurers Credit Watch Negative

So far, the municipal bond market has seen only a modest reaction to the recent negative credit watch being placed on the ratings of several bond insurers. Month to date as of June 12, 2017, the S&P Municipal Bond Insured Index tracking over $148billion in par value of insured bonds has performed in sync with the overall Read more […]

Rieger Report: Corporate Junk Bonds – “Danger, Will Robinson!”

The bond markets are certainly not “Lost in Space”1. There is good rationale as to why the bond markets are in the position they are today; compressed spreads are the result of low rates coupled with strong demand out pacing supply for yield assets.   However, the homogenization of the US corporate bond markets is worrisome and should Read more […]

Rieger Report: Illinois G.O.s on the Edge

The recent ratings downgrades by both Moody’s and S&P Global Ratings have placed the State of Illinois general obligation bonds on the edge of becoming junk.  As of this writing, the ratings are Baa3/BBB-/BBB by Moody’s, S&P and Fitch. The fiscal struggle endured by Illinois has indeed been a long one, now yields for Illinois G.O.s have Read more […]

Rieger Report: Infrastructure Bonds

With the President’s focus on the U.S. infrastructure this coming week it is a good time to look at the existing infrastructure bond markets.  Municipal bonds have long played a critical funding role in the U.S. infrastructure sector. The 19,000 tax-exempt municipal bonds tracked in the S&P  Municipal Bond Infrastructure Index mainly consist of investment grade bonds Read more […]

Rieger Report: The World is Flat

There have been a myriad of articles with headlines and content about rising rates, the coming evisceration and other zombie apocalypse events in the bond markets.   There can be no doubt that yields for fixed income asset classes are low and there is also no doubt that rates will eventually be higher.  How, when and Read more […]

Rieger Report: State G.O. municipal bonds have underperformed

Overall, general obligation bonds have underperformed revenue bonds over the last five years  of low rates.   State general obligation bonds have been the sector that is holding back returns as the lower yield and shorter duration characteristics of these bonds have resulted in muted returns in the up market. While revenue bonds have a larger foot print by par Read more […]

Rieger Report: Why foreign investors like U.S. municipal bonds

A trend that has been catching attention is purchases of U.S. municipal bonds by foreign investors.  A terrific summary was recently published by VanEck’s Michael Cohick and that can be found by clicking here. As that research points out, the Federal Reserve data on foreign investor holdings has jumped to end 2016 at $106 billion.  That Read more […]

Rieger Report: The Uncorrelated

Why worry?  New highs for the U.S. stock market indices will keep coming, right?  Just in case, this might be a good time to examine asset classes that are not correlated to the equity market or the “uncorrelated”. Corporate bonds of the issuers in the S&P 500 are tracked in the S&P 500 Bond Index.  As a group Read more […]