Tag Archives: municipal bonds

Sep 22, 2020

Why Reach for Yield When You Can Use a Ladder?

The current low interest rate environment is forcing many investors to reassess their risk tolerances. Typically, fixed income investors have three main options when trying to “reach” for yield: 1. Move down in credit quality (i.e., take on more credit risk); 2. Increase duration (i.e., take on more interest rate risk); or 3. Move to…

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May 14, 2020

Municipal Bonds Are Being Left Behind

Corporate bonds have garnered a lot of attention lately, as the Federal Reserve continues to stabilize markets by establishing multiple facilities that support both the primary and secondary corporate bond markets. As a result, credit spreads have tightened significantly from where they were in March. Since March 23, 2020, the option-adjusted spread on the S&P…

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Mar 25, 2020

Federal Reserve Becomes Buyer of Last Resort

In a previous blog, we discussed the U.S. Federal Reserve’s initial responses to the current market volatility and resultant dislocations. In short, dropping rates to 0% and adding over USD 1 trillion to the funding markets did little to abate the severity of the situation. In an effort to prevent a liquidity crisis from turning…

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Jan 15, 2018

Rieger Report: Municipal Bond ETFs – 10 Years of Growth

The first Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) tracking municipal bonds were launched in September 2007. Since then the municipal ETF market has grown to 40 ETFs representing over $30.5billion in assets under management. Municipal Bond ETF Market Snap Shot: 40 ETFs all but one represents tax-exempt municipal bonds. There is one ETF tracking taxable municipal bonds….

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Dec 21, 2017

Rieger Report: Munis Show Their Power in Low Rate Environment

The 2017 low interest rate environment has created a wonderful example of the power of tax-exempt bonds. On a nominal return basis, investment grade corporate bonds tracked in the S&P 500 Investment Grade Corporate Bond Index have outperformed tax-exempt bonds tracked in the S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Index. By considering the tax implications, using…

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Oct 15, 2017

Rieger Report: Will Pressure on Property & Casualty Companies Impact the Bond Markets?

This Fall has been a difficult time for property & casualty companies.  The fires in Northern California have destroyed thousands of homes and the relentless string of hurricanes have damaged parts of Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. If these companies need to sell fixed income assets to offset liabilities they…

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Aug 19, 2017

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…

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Jun 13, 2017

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…

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Jun 6, 2017

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…

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Apr 9, 2017

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…

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