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Posts Tagged ‘municipalities’

Catastrophic Disaster

September 1st, 2017 by Kurt L. Smith

Our heart and prayers go out to the residents and all affected in the ongoing disaster of Hurricane Harvey. The loss of life and property will continue to upend millions of lives for a long, long time.

I had begun this month’s letter before Harvey hit Texas noting that another summer month had passed and well, nothing happened. There is nothing un-unusual about a slowdown in the summer months, but with volatility at historical lows for both stocks and bonds, this summer became a virtual standstill.

We are used to slow times in the municipal bond market. Save a quarter or two in 2013 and another burst late last year, the past five years have been horrible volume-wise. Yet somehow we continue to scratch and claw finding worthwhile bonds along the way.

And now Harvey. EPIC, widespread, catastrophic, such adjectives seem to fall short of understanding the consequences of a foot of rain, or two, or three or four feet. We aren’t talking about an island, or a city, but an entire region of my huge state. And yes, there was a hurricane too, devastating Rockport and Port Aransas. (more…)

My Daily Travels

November 4th, 2016 by Kurt L. Smith

Working in the municipal markets on a daily basis is like having the opportunity to travel the country each and every day. I visit California and Texas most often as they are big states with numerous debt issuers. But by the end of each day I have generally made a wide swing across many states and then tomorrow I will get up and do it all again.

Change doesn’t occur rapidly across the country but change does occur. Growing areas, primarily the biggest cities along the east and west coasts and in Texas, continue to grow. Everywhere else, and that’s a lot of everywhere else, seems to be doing a lot of nothing.

If municipalities were stocks, odds are you would only buy the top five or so. Think of them as the Apple, Amazon, Facebook or Google of municipalities. That’s how few areas of the country are growing. Not that growth solves all problems, but lack of growth, particularly if you were counting on it, can add unforeseen risk to the situation. (more…)

NEWS FEED

The $247 trillion global debt bomb washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-2…