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Articles In This Month's Issue: June 2003

Risky Business? Evaluating the Use of Pension Obligation Bonds

GFR June 2003 cover
While the prospect of reducing operating budget contributions to pension funds through borrowing continues to entice governments,the fact remains that pension bonds are a form of financial risk arbitrage whose use demands caution.
James B.Burnham

Monitoring Local Government Fiscal Health: Michigan’s New 10-Point Scale of Fiscal Distress

Building on previous work, the State of Michigan has devised a new set of ratio indicators designed to help state officials identify fiscally troubled local governments before problems reach the crisis stage.
Robert Kleine, Philip Kloha, and Carol S. Weissert

The Path to Bond Market Efficiency:How Increased Retail Distribution Can Lower Borrowing Costs

Through a method called differential pricing, issuers can overcome the inefficient new issue distribution process and lower their borrowing costs.
C. Talbot Heppenstall, Jr. and Roger G. Hayes
   

The Hard Insurance Market: How Did We Get Here and What Can We Do About It?

Rising insurance premiums, restrictive coverage terms, and unpredictable carrier movement have left many fiscally challenged governments unsure about how to best manage their risks.
Allen Hyman

Guidelines for Effective Uses of Swaps in Asset-Liability Management

Variable-rate debt and interest rate hedges can enhance the finances of
some tax-exempt borrowers. However, when used without a coherent strategy or by borrowers with finances
that are already vulnerable, such financial products can result in adverse credit consequences.
Katherine McManus, Karl Pfeil, and Trudy Zibit

Evaluating Internal Controls:Control Self-Assessment in Government

Control self-assessment is a powerful management tool that can enhance employee understanding of risks and controls and ensure that key business objectives are met.
Sharron M. Graves, Bill Longenecker, Treba L. Marsh, and Heidi Milstead