Beyond Bulls & Bears

Budget Season
Fixed Income

Budget Season

For US states, spring marks budget season, a time to check the ledger board and allocate funds to entities and projects within the state—or cut back where needed. Jennifer Johnston, our Municipal Bond Director of Research, explains what her team has an eye on when it comes to state budgets—and the good news is that, in general, things are looking pretty positive.

Muni Impact of US Infrastructure Bill Could Prove Longer Term
Fixed Income

Muni Impact of US Infrastructure Bill Could Prove Longer Term

While the new US infrastructure investment bill didn’t have any initiatives directly targeting the municipal bond market, there are still implications for munis in the longer term, according to our Municipal Bond Director of Research Jennifer Johnston. She explains the ramifications for investors in the space.

Muni Market View on The American Jobs Plan
Fixed Income

Muni Market View on The American Jobs Plan

US President Joe Biden recently announced an ambitious new $2 trillion infrastructure plan, which touches many areas of the US economy. Jennifer Johnston, director of research, Franklin Templeton Municipal Bonds, outlines some highlights of this sweeping legislation, and how it could impact the muni market.

State and Local Governments Get Shot of Stimulus
Fixed Income

State and Local Governments Get Shot of Stimulus

Another round of stimulus totaling $1.9 trillion is making its way through the US economy, with hopes it will trigger a sharp rebound from the ravages of COVID-19. The relief package includes funds for individual state and local governments, which should help shore up some lost tax revenues and close budget gaps. Jennifer Johnston discusses the implications for municipal bond investors, noting that where these entities direct the funds will be crucial.

COVID 19 Disrupts Municipalities—Will Taxing Millionaires Accelerate Outmigration?
Fixed Income

COVID 19 Disrupts Municipalities—Will Taxing Millionaires Accelerate Outmigration?

Apart from some high-profile downgrades, the muni credit markets finished 2020 buoyed by breakthrough vaccines and signs that state and local tax collections were better than anticipated. That said, many governors still face tough choices when it comes to budget shortfalls: they must either raise revenues, cut spending, or both. Our Director of Municipal Bonds, Ben Barber, and Director of Municipal Bond Research, Jennifer Johnston, explain why tax revenues have rallied unexpectedly for California, and explore if working remotely will accelerate outmigration from New York City.

US 2020 Election Investment Pulse: Neutral to Positive for Municipals
Fixed Income

US 2020 Election Investment Pulse: Neutral to Positive for Municipals

Our Katie Klingensmith joined Muni Bond Team Research Director Jennifer Johnston to discuss the potential implications of the US elections for the municipal bond market, against a backdrop of COVID-19.

Do Teachers’ Strikes Have Us Picketing California School District Bonds?
Fixed Income

Do Teachers’ Strikes Have Us Picketing California School District Bonds?

Two large teacher’s strikes in California have made headlines this year, one in Los Angeles and another in Oakland. Neither was prolonged, but both highlight funding concerns in these and other communities. Jennifer Johnston of our Municipal Bond department explains the role investors play in funding public education through municipal bonds.