Beyond Bulls & Bears

2024 municipal bond market outlook: Increased optimism for the year ahead
Fixed Income

2024 municipal bond market outlook: Increased optimism for the year ahead

A year of significant monetary policy tightening is coming to a close, making Franklin Templeton Fixed Income optimistic about muni bonds in the year ahead. Get the team’s 2024 muni-bond outlook.

Quick Thoughts: Investment Ideas—Is the Muni Comeback Still in the Making?
Fixed Income

Quick Thoughts: Investment Ideas—Is the Muni Comeback Still in the Making?

Making the case for municipal bonds today with Stephen Dover, Head of Franklin Templeton Institute.

Crisis in concrete: Navigating the ripple effects of commercial real estate on municipal bonds
Fixed Income

Crisis in concrete: Navigating the ripple effects of commercial real estate on municipal bonds

Declining commercial real estate valuations will not likely lead to a wave of defaults among muni issuers, according to Franklin Templeton Fixed Income’s municipal bond team.

An overview of US state budgets and municipal bonds
Fixed Income

An overview of US state budgets and municipal bonds

As COVID-era funding boosts come to a close, US state and local governments are facing some challenges. However, they have many tools with which to tackle them, according to Jennifer Johnston, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income’s Director of Research, Municipal Bonds. She provides her latest outlook.

Muni bond update: Credit quality still looks strong
Fixed Income

Muni bond update: Credit quality still looks strong

While 2023 has started on shaky ground for the municipal bond market, there are reasons to be optimistic for more stability ahead, according to Jennifer Johnston, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income’s Director of Municipal Bond Research. She explains why California’s issues don’t reflect all states, and offers reasons for optimism.

Municipal markets continue to feel the pressure this year, yet fundamentals remain stable
Fixed Income

Municipal markets continue to feel the pressure this year, yet fundamentals remain stable

The municipal bond market has not been immune to bouts of volatility hitting the markets this year, but there are still pockets of opportunity, according to Franklin Templeton Fixed Income’s Director of Municipal Bonds, Ben Barber. He points to improving technical conditions, stable fundamentals and inexpensive valuations that make the asset class look compelling.

Making the case for municipal bonds despite recent volatility
Fixed Income

Making the case for municipal bonds despite recent volatility

The first half of the year has so far been challenging for investors in municipal bonds. Ben Barber, Director, Municipal Bonds, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income, shares his latest outlook and reasons for optimism.

Opportunity in Muni Market Volatility
Fixed Income

Opportunity in Muni Market Volatility

January was a volatile month for the markets in general, and municipal bonds were not immune. Ben Barber, Director, Municipal Bonds, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income, opines on how the prospect of rising interest rates is impacting the market, and how volatility can create opportunity.

US Infrastructure Plan and Muni Bond Update
Fixed Income

US Infrastructure Plan and Muni Bond Update

In May, our municipal bond team published some thoughts on US President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure package called “The American Jobs Plan.” As this package makes its way through Congress, the team will provide updates—here’s the latest from our Muni Bond Director Jennifer Johnston.

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.