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Categories: Bonds

Munis: Does AMBAC's Plight Boost Risk?

Posted by: Karyn McCormack on November 16

Although municipal bond insurers have been on life support for almost two years, Ambac Financial Group’s (ABK) revelation in a Nov. 9 filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission...

More on Municipal Bonds

Posted by: Ben Levisohn on August 21

On Aug. 19, I asked readers if they would buy state and local government debt if municipal bonds weren't tax exempt. Many readers said they wouldn't but two recommended an...

Could Municipal Bonds Lose Their Tax-Exempt Status?

Posted by: Ben Levisohn on August 19

Will municipal bonds lose their tax exempt status? That’s the proposal found on page 211 of a 264 page report titled "Budget Options, Volume 2," that the Congressional Budget Office...

Why Ford's Convertible Bonds Are a Great Buy

Posted by: Lauren Young on August 11

Forget Ford (F) stock. Bill Feingold, co-founder of Hillside Advisors, Minyanville blogger, and author of The Undoing of Cowardice, says Ford's convertible bonds are a great buy. "For longer-term holders,...

Number One Hedge Fund Strategy? Convertible Arbitrage

Posted by: Ben Levisohn on June 16

After a miserable 2008, hedge funds are rallying back this year. And no strategy has mounted a bigger comeback than convertible arbitrage, which is up 21.6% through the end of...

California's Credit Rating Poised for a Downgrade

Posted by: Ben Levisohn on June 16

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services put California on watch for a ratings downgrade today and it's not hard to see why. The Golden State's fiscal troubles appear unending. It has...

Can a Revived Junk Bond Market Prevent a Loan Blowup?

Posted by: Ben Levisohn on June 08

Where's the next financial blowup coming from? The Deal's Vipal Monga lays out the case for the leverage loan market. $450 billion dollars of loans need to be repaid between...

Penny Stock or Not, Citigroup's Bonds Have Value

Posted by: Lauren Young on March 05

Citigroup's stock might be worth pennies, but Citi's short-term debt is still a good buy, according to Jason Graybill, who co-manages the fixed-income team at Carret Asset Management in New...

California's Ratings Downgrade Sparks Municipality Madness

Posted by: Lauren Young on February 09

Think of it as a muni Mardi Gras: California's debt is now rated lower than Louisiana. Thanks to a budget crisis, Standard & Poor’s (which like BusinessWeek, is owned by...

A Comeback for Corporate Bonds

Posted by: Ben Steverman on January 06

If you didn't act already, you may have missed out on an opportunity from our "Comeback Stocks for 2009" slideshow of Dec. 24. But even if you didn't profit, this...

Morningstar tells remaining investors to dump Schwab YieldPlus

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on August 26

Charles Schwab's money management unit was hardly the only shop burned by putting dangerous subprime-backed investments in supposedly conservative short-term bond mutual funds. Fidelity, Evergreen and others also had losses...

Pimco's Mohamed El-Erian says its time to worry about inflation now

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on June 26

Mohamed El-Erian, the former and current star manager at Pimco and Bill Gross's right-hand man, has a tendency to sound more than a little Greenspan-esque. It could be from his...

Phew, Supreme Court upholds current muni market structure

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on May 19

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a 7-2 decision this morning declining to throw the entire multi-trillion-dollar municipal bond market into chaos. Phew. Nothing to see here, move along. The longer...

Interest Rate Limbo

Posted by: Ben Steverman on March 18

Thanks to the Federal Reserve's three-quarter-point interest rate cut, the U.S. now has the lowest interest rates of any country except Japan. The U.S.'s 2.25% Fed funds rate compares to...

Muni market shrugs off insurance problems

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on December 20

As I mentioned yesterday, the largest insurers of municipal bonds, MBIA Inc. (Symbol: MBI) and Ambac Financial Group Inc. (ABK), were hit right where it hurts by Standard & Poor's....

Municipal bonds beckon -- or not (UPDATE)

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on December 19

There's a very insider-ish story about municipal bonds running on Bloomberg today. The short version is that hedge funds and Wall Street firms have been dumping muni bonds lately, pushing...

Bargains in mortgage land

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on October 15

It looks to be a busy and interesting week for initial public offerings with a Chinese educator, Mexican phone company and an American builder of server farms on tap. But...

Just a slender $9 trillion niche for a new ETF

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on October 08

As I lie around all day trying to recover from knee surgery last week (don't ask!) looking for diversions, there's plenty of life in the world of exchange traded funds...

Bernanke: More As on His Report Card

Posted by: Lauren Young on September 28

Earlier this week I blogged about what grade Kenneth Volpert, Vanguard's bond index guru, would give to Ben Bernanke's performance thus far. I'm going to stick to this theme for...

Fed Cred: What grade would you give Bernanke?

Posted by: Lauren Young on September 24

What was supposed to set Ben Bernanke's Federal Reserve chairmanship apart from that of Alan Greenspan is transparency as well as plain talk. And that's why the Fed's decision to...

The flight from risk hit muni bonds, too

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on September 17

The $2 trillion market for tax-free bonds, generally those issued by states, cities and other municipal government bodies, has long been considered a sleepy corner of the fixed-income world. And...

First tax-free bond ETF hits the market

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on September 10

Barclays today opened the first exchange-traded fund that holds municipal bonds and pays tax-exempt interest. But the big appeal here isn't the fact that here's now a minute-to-minute trading price...

Some smarties see value in junk bond rubble

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on August 28

At some point, despite all the hysteria, the markets will bottom. Rarely does each market segment hit bottom at the same time, however. After junk bonds dropped 3% in July,...

Catching up with bond market doom seers

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on August 23

I have an online story up called "A Season for Cassandras," about the vindication of folks who had been dismissed as wacky "perma-bears" thanks to the current credit and housing...

Closed-end funds offer more bad credit plays

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on July 30

The other day, I offered up a couple of ways to hedge or speculate on the world of crashing sub-prime mortgages and loosey-goosey corporate borrowing binges. There are a zillion...

Avoiding the damage of a corporate bond meltdown

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on July 13

Default rates on corporate bonds hit a 25-year low last year. Meanwhile, the extra yield paid by junk bonds over the rates of ultra-safe U.S. Treasury securities, the yield premium,...

Bond rock star says subprime won't kill the party

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on June 28

Jeff Gundlach is not a rock star but he could play one on TV with his blonde crew cut, sharp blue suit and pink tie. And visiting Chicago from his...

Pimco's Bill Gross has been grossly off

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on June 13

The bond market has been in a serious funk of late, with yields on the 10-year Treasury note hitting a five-year high yesterday. There are any variety of explanations floating...

New investment choice for deteriorating credit

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on April 17

Seems like everyone and their broker is calling for a decline in corporate bond credit quality, especially at the lower end of the ratings scale. The fund innovators over at...

Some question usefulness of bond ETFs

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on April 11

There are many ways for individual investors to tackle fixed-income investing. It's easy and free to buy Treasury securities direct from Uncle Sam. You can even set up automatic rollovers....

Fed up with Fed Forecasting Fever?

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on August 09

James Stewart had an interesting throw-away factoid in his WSJ column today that caught my attention. I certainly agree with his top line advice that long-term investors shouldn’t care much...

Bernanke's no Greenspan - look for higher rates

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on March 21

Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan was famous, or infamous, for his cryptic remarks and speeches that required a Kremlinologist's skill for parsing, a finance Phd’s knowledge of market history...

Marty Whitman dips a toe into GM's sea of debt

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on March 10

Another day, another fascinating read from one of the planet's great investors, in this case, Marty Whitman of the Third Avenue Value Fund (TAVFX). In his first quarter letter to...

Zig zags after the jobs report

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on March 10

The jobs report for February came in slightly stronger than expected, showing a healthy 243,000 new jobs were created last month. That's had a predictable impact on bonds (they're down...

Big fake out in tomorrow's job report possible

Posted by: Aaron Pressman on March 09

With news of the Fed and the future path of its rate hike campaign driving the market of late (mostly downwards), tomorrow's Labor Department report on jobs could have an...

A Little Muni Madness

Posted by: Adrienne Carter on February 20

Well it's President's Day, and thanks to our forefathers taxes are an inevitability. (I'll avoid the cliche, but you know what I'm thinking.) In any case, taxes are a big...


Bloomberg Businessweek’s Ben Steverman focuses on the latest moves in financial markets and emerging trends in stocks, bonds, and funds, always with an eye toward giving readers a better understanding of the sometimes confusing and often chaotic world of money. Standard & Poor’s senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt will also provide his take on companies’ finances and the markets. Voted one of the “Top 100 Finance Blogs” in 2007.

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