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Flight to Liquidity or Safety? Recent Evidence from the Municipal Bond Market
We examine the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent monetary and fiscal policy actions on municipal bond market pricing. Using high-frequency trading data, we estimate key policy events at the peak of the crisis by focusing on a sample of bonds within a narrow window before and after each policy event. We find that policy interventions, in particular those with explicit credit backstops, were effective in alleviating municipal bond market stress. Next, we exploit daily variation in traded municipal bonds and virus exposure across U.S. counties. We find a shift in how bond investors ...
Premium Municipal Bonds and Issuer Fiscal Distress
Economic theory suggests that bond issuers of lower credit quality or higher opacity should be more likely to issue bonds with premium coupons (higher coupon rates relative to yields at issuance). Using a comprehensive data set of municipal bonds issued between 1992 and 2012 by more than 21,000 issuers, we show that this has not been the case until the early 2000s. We examine what changed in this market to bring it into greater alignment with economic principles. We argue that the Government Accounting Standards Board?s Statement 34 that required the use of accrual accounting rules in ...