The total par amount of municipal securities traded fell by 12.6 percent in 2011, compared to 2010, according to according to the newly released Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) Fact Book.  The 2011 Fact Book, the fourth annual compendium of municipal bond market statistics, includes information pertaining to trading activity and continuing disclosure document submissions.   The decrease in activity may be attributed, in part, to investor jitters in the first half of the year, along with an overall decline in bond issuance.  

Suffolk County, New York is the latest addition to the list of fiscally stressed municipalities to watch. Calling the state of its current finances “worse than we could have realized,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone declared a fiscal emergency for the County.  This statement was made upon review of an independent Task Force for Fiscal Analysis report revealing a three-year, a $530 million deficit facing the County.   The County now begins its daunting task of reevaluating its budget in an attempt to repair the shortfall.  

… Research by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland affirms the relationship between educational attainment and earnings potential over time.  While earnings growth for all workers has slowed over the past decade, the report analyzes patterns in earnings growth by educational attainment.  Among its findings: large gaps in median earnings across demographic groups marked by different levels of educational attainment, and an apparent shift among workers to higher levels of educational attainment …

… Red Sox fans have something to celebrate – before the official baseball season even begins!  Fenway Park, the 100-year old beloved Sox stadium has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, according to a Boston Business Journal article.  Once one of the largest major league baseball parks, the 100-year old Fenway is now among the smallest, contributing to its charm for many dedicated fans.