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, overseeing a team of subject matter specialists tasked with the creation and management of fixed income indices around the globe.

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, commercial paper, sovereign debt, credit default swaps, Sukuk securities, and the Australian bond market. 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 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 2012, J.R. served as Adjunct Professor at Adelphi University’s Robert B. Willumstad School of Business, teaching Investments for the graduate school program.

J.R. holds a B.S. from Widener University and an MBA from Adelphi University.

Author Archives: J.R. Rieger

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 […]

Rieger Report: Municipal bonds in 2017?

A look back may be a telling way to view municipal bonds in 2017. The modest total return of the S&P Municipal Bond Index (0.77%) in 2016 masked an atypical year of volatility for the normally staid market place.  During the year, municipal bonds enjoyed being one of the ‘risk off’ asset classes and as low Read more […]

Rieger Report: Could the long end be range bound?

The long end of the yield curve for U.S. corporate and municipal bonds could be held range bound over the next several months as there are various forces at play. Drivers for yields to rise: Inflation expectations: actual and anticipated inflation can impact bond holders and hits the yields of long term bonds the hardest. Infrastructure programs: Read more […]

Rieger Report: Retail Bond Transaction Costs Show Improvement

Tracking the mark up on retail size bond transactions can be a tricky effort particularly as mark ups have not be disclosed in the past.  By comparing trades of bonds of similar characteristics we are able to isolate and calculate estimated transaction costs published in our study “Unveiling the Hidden Costs of Retail Buying & Selling”. The Read more […]

Rieger Report: “Belly of the Curve” Good for Muni & Corporate Bonds

Through October 3rd, the S&P Municipal Bond Index has returned 4.23% year-to-date and the S&P 500 Bond Index has returned 8.97%.  The 7 – 10 year maturity range has outpaced the overall benchmarks in both cases. The average yield of bonds in the S&P 500 7-10 Year Investment Grade Corporate Bond Index has fallen by 94bps Read more […]

Rieger Report: High Yield Domination

High yield bonds have been marching along and putting up returns that are dominating the investment grade bond markets. U.S. junk bonds continue to have no stink to them as demand for yield far outweighs the supply and seemingly the credit risks associated with these bonds.   The bonds of larger entities tracked in the S&P 500 Read more […]

Rieger Report: Insured Munis Begin to Show Value

The S&P Municipal Bond Index has recorded a 4.21% year-to-date total return for the first three quarters of 2016 lagging the taxable corporate bond market returns of nearly 9% as tracked by the S&P 500 Bond Index.  Some segments of the municipal bond market are contributing more than others: Local general obligation bonds have out performed Read more […]

Rieger Report: Sector Driven Corporate Bond Returns

Sector selection seems to be a major component of bond market returns in 2016.  On a total return basis the bonds of companies in the S&P 500 Index have been outperforming the stocks of those companies in 2016. A closer look reveals that as the yield starved market pushed yields down the higher yielding sectors Read more […]