When I go on an excursion, I take a stack of books with me. My spouse rolls her eyes and shakes her head earlier than declaring the plain: I’ve added a semester’s really worth of analyzing for per week’s well worth of vacation. I sheepishly agree—however, I convey them anyway. She brings one of these summer season paperback seaside-reads and is going thru it cover-to-cover. I start numerous of my hardcover tomes and perhaps end one. Maybe.
This year the studying listing is a chunk more focused than standard because I am using a number of the books in my Boston University public finance elegance this fall. I’ve examined a couple of those before, so that the ones will be a refresher. Others I’ve always wanted to get to, and sitting on the beach is as appropriate a time as any.
Book 1. It continually surprises me that greater municipal bond traders haven’t examined Robert Caro’s The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York. On the surface, it apparently has little to do with investing. No formulas, no ratios. It has a whole lot to do with public coverage and public works—which are the last drivers in the back of each municipal bond financing. In that regard, this e-book stands as a seminal work on the subject. Yes, the book weighs in at 1,162 pages, which I respect can be intimidating. (To make that experience lighter, the original changed into close to 2,000 pages earlier than modifying.) If you’ve ever pushed over almost any bridge or on any highway into, around, or out of New York City—you have been using on the paintings of Robert Moses.
The e-book details a person who unmarried-mindedly shaped New York City and Long Island in line with his imaginative and prescient. Parks, highways, bridges: no public works mission became too massive. His plans in constructing the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge had to don’t forget the curvature of the earth to hyperlink Brooklyn to northern New Jersey. How did he control to discover the billions of bucks to fund his nearly unceasing goals? Through tolls and municipal bonds. He shrewdly saw bonds were a settlement between bondholders and bond provider, a contract that couldn’t be violated or broken, covered with the aid of Article 1, Section 10, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution.
Correspondingly, any budget devoted to bondholders could not be appropriated using every other business enterprise or authorities entity. Every greenback of tolls accrued using the bridges he built went to the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, which he headed (among others). After paying bondholders, the stability went to the Authority to do with what it pleased. In impact, he used municipal bonds to no longer most effective build bridges, tunnels, roads, and parks, but additionally to create an unbiased and self-investment government of which he absolutely controlled. The e-book is long, but it is a web page-turner.
Book 2. The second e-book is lots lighter in severa approaches, not simply the page count number. Jim Lebenthal’s Confessions of a Municipal Bond Salesman is a wildly wonderful romp via the arena of municipal bonds written via one of its maximum ardent supporters. Working in the enterprise started using his parents in 1925; he grew the muni-targeted company, bearing his own family name to be one of Wall Street’s maximum reputable. Labeling municipal bonds “the workhorses” of investments, Jim proudly proclaimed “bonds are my babies” to anyone who could listen.
Jim surpassed some years lower back, and the company closed in 2017, ending a bankruptcy in municipal bond marketplace records. His book stands as a testimony to what consciousness, hard work, and a terrific sense of humor can do to pressure achievement. Plus, it still offers a wealth of information approximately the municipal bond market and municipal bonds, tons of which remain relevant today.