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October 3, 2012
SIFMA SmartBrief
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The Economy 
SIFMA Municipal Bond Summit Recap
The 4th Annual Municipal Bond Summit convened leading industry experts, market participants and key regulators to share candid insights into the most talked about challenges and opportunities in today's municipal securities market including: Electoral Politics: Muni Bond Tax Exemption Under Active Attack; Developments in the Secondary Market: Where is the Liquidity?; Municipal Bond Indices ? What is Missing?; Borrowing at the Short End ? Trends Affecting the Variable Rate Market; SEC Roadmap for the Muni Market: Pre-Trade Price Transparency, Market Structure, and Disclosure.

This interactive forum was attended by dealers, issuers and public sector finance officers, municipal advisors, portfolio managers, private client advisors, commercial bankers, institutional investors, rating agencies, letter of credit banks, bond insurers, credit analysts, compliance officers, and internal and outside counsel.
Monetary Policy 
States' Economic Health Hits Nine Month Low
The economic health of 36 states, including Michigan, California and Connecticut, declined in April through June from three months before, according to the Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States index. It was the worst showing since the third quarter of 2011, when all but five states declined.
News from the Event 
  • Walter says SEC is making progress on muni adviser definition
    Elisse Walter, member of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Source: SIFMA
    Elisse Walter, a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission, told participants the SIFMA Municipal Bond Conference that the agency will not likely need another year to update its definition of municipal adviser. On Sept. 21, the SEC pushed its deadline back by a year to Sept. 30, 2013. There is "no intention on the part of the staff to take anywhere near that long," Walter said. Reuters (10/1) , The Bond Buyer (free content) (10/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Rep. Price says GOP hesitant to change municipal tax exemption
    Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. Source: SIFMA
    Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., told participants at the SIFMA Municipal Bond Conference that debt sold by municipalities helps fuel the economy and therefore Republicans are not keen to alter the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds. "From our standpoint, we are loath to try to harm things that actually generate productivity in the economy, and we believe that tax-exempt municipal bonds actually generate activity out in the real world," Price said. At a panel discussion, experts offered a variety of predictions for the future of the municipal tax exemption. Bloomberg Brief/Municipal Market (10/2) , The Bond Buyer (special access for readers of SIFMA SmartBrief) (10/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Thomson Municipal Market Data benchmark an opinion
    Municipal Bond Indices panel discussion. Source: SIFMA
    There is no guarantee with the Thomson Municipal Market Data benchmark AAA curve, which should be treated as informed opinion, says Robert Nelson, a managing analyst who works on the Municipal Market Monitor, which produces the benchmark indexes. "One of the important distinctions to make about our data, and one that our customer base knows well, is we are putting forth an opinion of AAA valuation into the marketplace," Nelson says. Bloomberg Brief/Municipal Market (10/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Harvard Endowment Loses, Trails Peers
Jane Mendillo, the head of Harvard Management Co., which oversees the endowment, said the performance owed largely to the university's investments in publicly traded non-U.S. and emerging-market shares, which had losses of 11 percent and 17 percent for the year, respectively. She said Harvard "carries relatively more exposure'' to these types of assets compared with other universities.
More Resources 
  • U.S. Municipal Bond Credit Report, 2012 Q2
    The continued strain in the global markets, slower than expected U.S. growth in the first half of 2012, and continuing political stalemate in the U.S. and Europe resulted in another uneasy quarter, closing with the Federal Reserve's extension of "Operation Twist," Moody's downgrade of several global banks, and the rise of local government credit troubles in California and elsewhere. Despite a jump in issuance, municipal supply continues to remain overall negative on net as refundings have continued to drive volumes. The attractiveness of municipals relative to other asset classes despite low yields helped contribute to another positive quarter in municipal bond returns. Download the full U.S. Municipal Bond Credit Report, 2012 Q2. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 2012 in Statistics -- A Midyear Review
    A massive jump in refundings pushed long-term municipal bond volume up significantly through the first half of 2012. Issuance rose 65% through this June against the first six months of 2011, with refundings soaring 145% over the same span. Total long-term volume measured $192.9 billion in 6,888 issues through June, according to Thomson Reuters numbers. That compares with $117 billion in 4,859 deals in the first six months of 2011. Download the full report from The Bond Buyer. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Cities Try Fracking for Dollars
Youngstown, Ohio, needs money to demolish vacant buildings, so it's turning to fracking. The City Council is debating a proposal to combat blight by leasing the rights for oil and gas drilling under public land. Opponents of hydraulic fracturing say the money isn't worth the risk of polluting drinking water and the environment.
Upcoming Events 
  • SIFMA's Annual Meeting presents: Alan Greenspan on the U.S. economy, the election, job creation, "fiscal cliff" and more
    Register today for the SIFMA Annual Meeting where Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan will offer his outlook on the U.S. economy on the eve of the presidential election. Dr. Greenspan attributes the tepid recovery of the U.S. economy to extra heavy discounting of long-lived assets, and he will discuss policies to address that problem. Join SIFMA on Oct. 23 in New York City to be provided with other insightful information on the issues facing U.S. economic competitiveness. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • FINRA Exam Training by SIFMA: Series 99, Series 24, Series 52, Series 7, Series 53 & Series 79
    SIFMA, the go-to resource for expert information on the financial industry, has partnered with the Securities Trading Corp. to provide a comprehensive training experience for a variety of FINRA exams. Programs will provide participants with essential information to pass exams as well as study and review materials. Courses are offered live and via webinar. SIFMA members are eligible for a discount. Register today. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Asset Managers Forum Workshop: Leadership, Coaching & Talent Management -- Oct. 9
    Leadership, Coaching and Talent Management are a critical skill set to develop throughout one's career. The Asset Management Forum has invited distinguished leaders from Goldman Sachs Asset Management, JPMorgan Asset Management, GE Asset Management, BlackRock, Morgan Stanley and UBS Asset Management to share insights and discuss leadership tools and best practices during periods of change. There is specific emphasis on retaining top talent and a one-hour session dedicated to the effects of Globalization and Outsourcing on Asset Managers business. The event, while hosted by a subset of the Asset Managers Group, is open to all financial services professionals. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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