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Stay informed and up to date on the latest financial topics. Read articles written by our financial strategies team.

Understanding the Tax Treatment of Discount Municipal Bonds

In a rising rate environment, bonds priced at a discount become more prevalent. Therefore, it is imperative that municipal bond investors consider the tax implications…
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Preparing for 2024 for Banks

It’s that time of year when families start getting excited about the holidays and management teams at depository institutions start to worry about budget forecasts.…
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Preparing for 2024 for Credit Unions

It’s that time of year when families start getting excited about the holidays and management teams at depository institutions start to worry about budget forecasts.…
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The Rise of Municipal Tender Offers

Bond refinancings or “refundings” are used by municipalities to save debt service costs on outstanding bonds or to modify certain bond covenants or financing terms.…
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Is Your Balance Sheet Recession Ready?

I recently joked that I have read an article every week for the past year that says a recession is starting the next month. But…
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Why Mortgage Rates Remain Stubbornly High Despite Falling Inflation

As most investors know, primary mortgage rates are priced off mortgage-backed securities (MBS). The value of MBS, like all long-term fixed-rate bonds, is influenced by…
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Reflections on a Career in Financial Markets

Longtime financial strategist Jeff Caughron is retiring this year from The Baker Group after decades of service in roles including CEO and Chairman. He offers…
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Building a More Effective ALCO in a Dynamic Rate Environment

The Asset Liability Management Committee (ALCO) is an integral part in the management of a financial institution. It is the committee responsible for effectively managing…
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Liquidity Risk Management: More Than Checking a Box

The recent bank failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank have shown that liquidity risk can produce a bank failure instantly versus a slower,…
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Thoughts on the Effects of Silicon Valley Bank and Related Events

Overview: The speed and magnitude of Fed rate hikes has been unprecedented, and we have emphasized that if continued it would likely force something to…
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What the MIP Cut Means to MBS Investors

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) recently announced a decrease to the annual premium charged to borrowers with FHA-backed loans. The reduction goes into effect for…
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Municipal Finances Persevere During Recessions

As we move through 2023, the possibility of a recession is at the forefront of most investors’ minds. Fortunately, most municipalities are in a good…
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ALM in 2023: Revisiting Economic Value of Equity (EVE)

Bank balance sheets were adversely affected in multiple ways by the speed and magnitude of the rising rate environment in 2022. Most noticeable was the…
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What Can History Tell Us About Balance Sheet and Margin Management in 2023 for Credit Unions?

The global pandemic set into motion a series of historically unprecedented economic policies. Massive amounts of liquidity and stimulus from policymakers enabled a fast recovery,…
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What Can History Tell Us About Balance Sheet and Margin Management in 2023?

The global pandemic set into motion a series of historically unprecedented economic policies. Massive amounts of liquidity and stimulus from policymakers enabled a fast recovery,…
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Municipal Credit Update: Inflation Effects on Municipal Finances

In early 2020, municipal credit concerns were abundant and tax revenue plunged due to pandemic shutdowns. Since then, average state and local tax revenue has…
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Don’t Fully Bet on One Rate Outcome

As a young aspiring bank examiner in 2009, I first learned about interest rate risk management during a period of zero interest rate policy, which…
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Will the Federal Reserve Sell MBS?

This question is likely to garner different responses, depending on who you ask, and a plethora of caveats. It is a tough call for the…
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Riding Out the Storm: Focus on Interest Rate Risk Management

“The relative calm in financial markets recently has caused a significant degree of complacency. The truth of the matter is that we are probably in…
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The Importance of Asset Pricing and ALM Strategy for Credit Unions

As if navigating the 2008 Housing Crisis and 2020 Global Pandemic weren’t enough, credit unions now face the most feared economic monster of all –…
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