Beyond Bulls & Bears

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.

Muni Bond Perspectives on the 2020 Election
Fixed Income

Muni Bond Perspectives on the 2020 Election

How might the November US election affect municipal bonds? Our muni bond team looks at potential impacts at the local, state and national levels.

Meet the Manager: Ben Barber
Fixed Income

Meet the Manager: Ben Barber

Get to know our Muni Bond Director Ben Barber, who returned to Franklin Templeton as the COVID-19 pandemic began to unfold.

Responsible Investing in a Traditional Asset Class
Fixed Income

Responsible Investing in a Traditional Asset Class

In the municipal bond market, the issuance of green bonds has provided an attractive solution for investors interested in socially responsible investments while also receiving the tax-exempt income benefit municipal bonds offer. Franklin Templeton’s Municipal Bond team provides an overview of green bonds, including potential benefits and risk considerations.

State Budgets Hit a Bumpy COVID-19 Road—Analyzing Municipal Credit Pressures
Fixed Income

State Budgets Hit a Bumpy COVID-19 Road—Analyzing Municipal Credit Pressures

For most US governors, June typically brings political fireworks when state legislatures hammer out final budgets for the next fiscal year. Our municipal bond team provides an overview of its recent COVID-19 credit research, explaining why some states face mounting credit pressures from high fixed costs and shallow emergency reserves, whereas other states with more diversified economies and strong financial management should fare better post COVID-19.

Municipal Bond Perspective: Approach High Yield with Caution in 2020
Fixed Income

Municipal Bond Perspective: Approach High Yield with Caution in 2020

As we head into 2020, municipal bonds will likely remain attractive for many tax-sensitive investors, but their performance potential could prove to be relatively muted compared to 2019, according to Sheila Amoroso, director of our Municipal Bond Department. She and her team say this is due to the general level of interest rates and tighter yield spreads, particularly for lower-rated segments of the municipal market. They believe that while now may be a good time to consider a more cautious approach, they still see potential for high levels of tax-exempt income.

Municipal Bonds: When Full Faith and Credit Falls Flat
Fixed Income

Municipal Bonds: When Full Faith and Credit Falls Flat

Once upon a time, US municipal bonds were generally considered less risky than corporate bonds. Backed by the full faith and credit of state governments, investors had confidence they would receive their principal plus interest without fail. Times have changed. For some states and local governments, decades of financial mismanagement and massive pension liabilities are threatening to upend the full faith and credit pledge. In this article, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income takes a look at the situation, with Illinois being an example of a particularly dire case.

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.

Meet the Manager: Sheila Amoroso
Fixed Income

Meet the Manager: Sheila Amoroso

Some people seem to have a career path in place from an early age, while others just sort of stumble into one. Sheila Amoroso, director of Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group’s municipal bond department, is in the latter camp. You’d probably be hard-pressed to find many young women who aspire to be municipal bond managers—and Sheila was no exception. But, as she made her first foray into financial services, she found the work interesting, challenging and rewarding. And after more than 30 years with Franklin Templeton, that’s still the case.

The Case for Municipal Bonds in a Rising-Rate Environment
Fixed Income

The Case for Municipal Bonds in a Rising-Rate Environment

Municipal bond yields moved higher in 2018 and seem likely to continue moving up in 2019 if market expectations for further interest-rate increases play out. Sheila Amoroso, director of Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group’s Municipal Bond Department, makes a case for munis within a rising-rate environment. She says there could actually be more demand for munis ahead as a source of tax-free income.

Fundamental Changes That No Muni Investor Should Ignore
Fixed Income

Fundamental Changes That No Muni Investor Should Ignore

The investment landscape for municipal bonds has changed in a number of ways. What was true in the past for this asset class may not be anymore, according to Rafael Costas and Sheila Amoroso, co-directors of Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group’s Municipal Bond Department.

Will US Tax Reform Alter the Muni Landscape?
Fixed Income

Will US Tax Reform Alter the Muni Landscape?

With a new US tax law now upon us, many investors are questioning what the potential impacts may be on their portfolios—and on their potential investment selections going forward. Rafael Costas and Sheila Amoroso, co-directors of Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group’s Municipal Bond Department, address the major areas of potential impact the new legislation could have on muni bonds, and offer their thoughts around each of these areas.