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The Untold Story of Municipal Bond Defaults

Author

Listed:
  • Jason Appleson
  • Andrew F. Haughwout
  • Eric Parsons

Abstract

In our recent post on the state and local sector, we argued that structural problems in state and local budgets were exacerbated by the recession and would likely restrain the sector?s growth for years to come. The last couple of years have witnessed threatened or actual defaults in a diversity of places, ranging from Jefferson County, Alabama, to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to Stockton, California. But do these events point to a wave of future defaults by municipal borrowers? History?at least the history that most of us know?would seem to say no. But the municipal bond market is complex and defaults happen much more frequently than most casual observers are aware. This post describes the market and its risks.

Suggested Citation

  • Jason Appleson & Andrew F. Haughwout & Eric Parsons, 2012. "The Untold Story of Municipal Bond Defaults," Liberty Street Economics 20120815, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednls:86825
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    File URL: https://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2012/08/the-untold-story-of-municipal-bond-defaults.html
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    municipal bonds; defaults;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General

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