This week (March 18, 2011 – March 25, 2011) saw more of news about Japan’s disaster. More examples of municipality and state excesses were highlighted. Tax-free Mutual funds saw continued outflows. The mutual funds we track were unchanged or down slightly this week and for the month, fund yields fell slightly. Longer duration mutual funds moved up more than shorter duration funds. The Week’s municipal bond news included:
- Some major cities continue to give raises to city managers. Using the excuse that it is critical to keep ‘top’ talent, several public officials have received more money. Not only does this send the wrong message, in response to a bluff to quit, this just proves how lazy and stuck in the mud some of these places are. These people are nuclear power engineers! Yes it will take retraining to hire somebody new, but the upside is a far lower salary, a hunger for a job, and new blood with a new attitude. Does this justify bailouts? (WSJ)
- State workers are retiring or leaving with large payments of accumulated vacation or paid time off. Some prison doctors were paid over $500,000 when they left! Another example of how messed up state finances are. Much of this is due to overtime and not being able to take vacations. But there must be ways, even in the public safety department that personnel could be better managed to take some time off. Do they understand that people work better when they are burnt out? (or do they even work that hard?) (SFgate)
Vanguard Municipal Bond Mutual Fund Weekly Price Movement (Detailed stats)
Vanguard Tax-exempt Money Market fund (VMSXX) is yielding 0.13%, 0.01% for the week.
Fidelity Municipal Bond Mutual Fund Weekly Price Movement (Detailed stats)
See how the Fidelity intermediate term municipal bond fund (FCSTX) and Vanguard California intermediate term municipal bond fund (VCAIX) performed this week on this graph:
See how the municipal bond mutual funds we listed above performed this year on this graph: