August 25, 2014
Job Growth, a Surprise From Michigan and “City Sectors”
This week we explore State and county job data with a drill down into Michigan and look at another tool for categorizing municipal borrowers.
Please click here to read the rest of this week’s commentary: http://www.lumesis.com/commentary-blog/2014-commentary/8-25-2014-job-growth-a-surprise-from-michigan-and–city-sectors
August 18, 2014
Grouping Cities by “Community Profiles” Validates the Geo Score & A Look at NJ
This week we look at a grouping scheme for US cities and think about ways to apply it to municipal bond investing. We also use the occasion of bad news for Atlantic City to take a deeper dive into New Jersey county-level DIVER Geo Scores.
Please click here to read the rest of this week’s commentary: http://www.lumesis.com/commentary-blog/2014-commentary/8-18-2014-grouping-cities-by–community-profiles–validates-the-geo-score-a-look-at-nj
August 11, 2014
This week we offer a change to our Commentary approach. An article published last week by Propublica regarding Tobacco Bond Issuers got Mike’s goat and he decided to provide his critique of a main-stream media’s “story” about the muni market. Before going there, one quick point regarding relaxed lending standards.
Please click here to read the rest of this week’s commentary:http://www.lumesis.com/commentary-blog/2014-commentary/8-11-2014–a-word-about-fair-isaac-and-our-response-to-the-kitchen-sink-being-thrown-at-tobacco-bond-issuers
August 4, 2014
This week we go far and wide with a look at GDP and GO (not General Obligations) as measures of economic growth. At the request of a reader, we follow up on last week’s employment discussion by focusing in on Labor Participation. We take a look at muni issuance vs. other markets. We also include a few takeaways and a slide from Mike’s presentation on the PREPA webinar. If you missed the webinar, scroll down to the Puerto Rico section for the link.
Please click here to read the rest of this week’s commentary: http://www.lumesis.com/commentary-blog/2014-commentary/8-4-2014-gdp-go–not-general-obligation–a-reader-s-request-and-prepa
July 28, 2014
Employment Data – Things are Looking Up (at least for some)
Over time, I have focused on employment data beyond the unemployment rate and have suggested our readers do the same to get a better sense of the employment picture. Seems more folks recognize that the rate alone can be misleading as can the number of employed people. This week we offer an excerpt from the Fed, some data insights around recently released State level employment data (encouraging our readers to look at the States and municipalities they care about v. US-level data) and include a note from the Illinois Policy Institute entitled “Jobs and Growth.” I also encourage our readers to keep an eye on wage data and Labor Underutilization Rates.
Please click here to read the rest of this week’s commentary: http://www.lumesis.com/commentary-blog/2014-commentary/7-28-2014-employment-data-things-are-looking-up–at-least-for-some
July 21, 2014
Funding Infrastructure, CA Drought (Again) and Interest Rates
I know I should not be surprised by inaction and political gamesmanship, but I continue to be amazed how our elected officials do not act in the best interest of their constituents. A brief review of recent public policy developments that impact municipalities illustrates a range of techniques that politicians use to avoid addressing serious issues. Without saying more, I would like to simply offer up an initiative for term limits for the House and Senate. Maybe if they didn’t make a career of it they would get things done and go home!
Please click here to read the rest of this week’s commentary: http://www.lumesis.com/commentary-blog/2014-commentary/7-21-2014-funding-infrastructure-ca-drought–again–and-interest-rates
July 14, 2014
Another View of Employment Data & Contributing (or Worsening) the US Trade Deficit
This week we take a look at some employment data and offer insights from our friends at Connolly Insights. We then take a closer look at the US trade deficit and GDP contributors (and detractors).
Please click here to read the rest of this week’s commentary: http://www.lumesis.com/commentary-blog/2014-commentary/7-14-2014-another-view-of-employment-data-contributing–or-worsening–the-us-trade-deficit