PRIMA RiskWatch
Aug. 1, 2013

Public pension funds and municipal default risk
Seeking Alpha
The state of public pension funds is at the heart of the potential default risk of states and municipalities, as the recent bankruptcy of Detroit demonstrates. There is a wide gap between common analysis at public pension funds and modern "best practice" principles of economics and finance.More

Miami is latest target of SEC municipal market enforcement actions
JD Supra Law News
The Securities and Exchange Commission recently filed an enforcement action in federal court against the City of Miami and its former budget director alleging securities fraud in connection with the city's 2007 and 2008 annual financials and subsequent 2009 bond offerings. This lawsuit follows other aggressive SEC actions against state and local governments.More

Municipal bonds: Equipped to weather rising rates
Seeking Alpha
Guy Davidson writes: "Muni bonds suffered a rout recently when anxiety over the Fed's taper of bond buying roiled fixed-income markets, leaving many investors wondering where to turn. As it turns out, munis have historically been effective shock absorbers. We believe that, given the right positioning, munis can help weather rising rates."More

Motor city madness as manifestation of a modern municipal malady
Reed Construction Data
How does a bankrupt city like Detroit find itself in such a financial mess? Revenue falling short of expenditures is the obvious answer, but there are many additional aspects to the question. Some analysts are laying the blame at one-party rule (i.e., the Democrats) and corruption (former mayors have been arrested) and powerful and greedy public sector unions.More

Designing disc golf courses for safety and sustainability
By Mike Harrington
Safety may not be included in the true definition of sustainability, but it definitely plays a role in the longevity of disc golf courses. The bottom line is safety affects sustainability, and it needs to be considered in the design process or more disc golf courses will be removed because someone got hurt. Municipalities are supposed to provide fun and safe activities for their residents, and that is the reason they should also value the input of a quality and experienced designer. A good design will put safety first, and a good designer will protect the municipalities' interests not just put in a championship-level course with no regard for any other park activities.More

Toronto and the importance of municipal politics
Sustainable Cities Collective
In recent weeks, municipal politics in Canada has seemed to be getting more attention, even if for the wrong reasons. There was Rob Ford — mayor of Toronto, the largest city in the country — gaining international media attention over alleged use of crack, something that prompted mass resignations of his staff.More