Skip to main content
Past Event

5th Annual Municipal Finance Conference


On July 12, 2016, the Rosenberg Institute of Global Finance at Brandeis International Business School, Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, and the Brookings Institution’s Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy hosted the 5th annual Municipal Finance Conference at Brookings. The conference brought together academics, practitioners, issuers and regulators to discuss recent research on municipal markets and municipal finance.


Daniel Bergstresser is Associate Professor of Finance at the Brandeis International Business School. Bergstresser’s research focuses on municipal finance and on the impact of taxation, regulation, and market structure on financial markets. This research has been published in the Journal of Law and Economics, the Journal of Financial Economics, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Review of Financial Studies, and Journal of Public Economics, and has been widely cited in both the academic and business press. He earned a Ph.D. in Economics at MIT, and earned an A.B. at Stanford. In 2006 and 2007, he worked for the investment manager Barclays Global Investors, serving in London as Head of European Credit Research. Prior to graduate school, he worked for the Federal Reserve Board in Washington D.C.

Richard Ryffel is a senior lecturer at Washington University’s Olin Business School. During his 30-year career in investment banking and asset management, Ryffel advised colleges and universities, hospitals, cities, states, airports, school districts, and corporations on financings and capital structure, and led hundreds of financings in both the taxable and tax-exempt markets. Mr. Ryffel joined Washington University full-time in 2015 after having worked at IBM Corporation, A.G. Edwards (now Wells Fargo Advisors), Bank of America, Edward Jones, and J.P. Morgan.  He consults and writes in the areas of municipal finance and endowment management and governance.

Louise Sheiner is a senior fellow in Economic Studies and policy director for the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy. She had served as an economist with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System since 1993, most recently as the senior economist in the Fiscal Analysis Section for the Research and Statistics Division. (At the 2013 municipal finance conference, Sheiner and Byron Lutz at the Fed presented their work on state and local retiree health obligations.) She also has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury (1996), and served as Senior Staff Economist for the Council of Economic Advisers (1995-96). Before joining the Fed, Sheiner was an economist at the Joint Committee on Taxation.

David Wessel is director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, which provides independent, non-partisan analysis of fiscal and monetary policy issues in order to further public understanding and to improve the quality and effectiveness of those policies.  He joined Brookings in December 2013 after 30 years on the staff of The Wall Street Journal where, most recently, he was economics editor and wrote the weekly Capital column.  He is a contributing correspondent to The Wall Street Journal, appears frequently on NPR’s Morning Edition and tweets often at @davidmwessel.

advisory committee

David Abel, William Blair & Company
Tim Coffin, Breckinridge Capital Advisors
Karl Dean, Boston University
George Friedlander
Allen Garman, Maryland Transportation Authority
Tracy Gordon, Urban Institute
Nikki Griffith, Department of Finance of Howard County, MD
Andrew Kalotay, Kalotay Associates
Brian Knight, Brown University
Byron Lutz, Federal Reserve Board of Governors
Peter Orr, Intuitive Analytics
Kim Reuben, Urban Institute
Daniel Shoag, Harvard University
Bryan Sullivan, State of Delaware
Stephen Winterstein, Wilmington Trust
Clint Zweifel, State Treasurer of Missouri



Session 1: The changing municipal capital market

Moderator: Richard Ryffel (Olin School of Business, Washington University in St. Louis)


Changing Patterns in Household Ownership of Municipal Debt: Evidence from 1989-2013
Daniel Bergstresser (Rosenberg Institute of Global Finance at Brandeis International Business School) & Randolph Cohen (MIT)
Discussant: Natalie Cohen (Wells Fargo)


Municipal Borrowing Costs and State Policies for Distressed Municipalities
Pengjie Gao (Notre Dame), Dermot Murphy (University of Illinois-Chicago), & Chang Lee (University of Illinois-Chicago)
Discussant: Robert Doty (AGFS)


Municipal Finance Structure and Chapter 9 Creditor Priorities
Juliet Moringiello (Widener University Law School)
Discussant: Bart Hildreth (Georgia State University)


Richard Ryffel

Professor of Finance Practice - Olin School of Business, Washington University in St. Louis

Daniel Bergstresser

Associate Professor of Finance - Rosenberg Institute of Global Finance, Brandeis International Business School

Bart Hildreth

Professor, Center for State and Local Finance, Department of Public Management and Policy in Atlanta - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University

Juliet Moringiello

Professor of Business Law - Widener University Commonwealth Law School

Dermot Murphy

Assistant Professor of Finance - University of Illinois-Chicago

From this Session

Changing Patterns in Household Ownership of Municipal Debt: Evidence from 1989-2013

Session 2: Breakout

Track 1: Issues in capital markets and credit

Moderator: Dan Bergstresser (Brandeis International Business School)


Credit Cluster and Contagion Risk Related to Distressed Municipalities
Richard A. Ciccarone (Merritt Research Services)
Discussant: Sharon Kioko (University of Washington)


Don’t Waste a Free Lunch: Managing the Advance Refunding Option
Andrew Kalotay (Kalotay Associates) & Lori Raineri (Government Financial Strategies, Inc.)
Discussant: David Abel (William Blair & Company)


From NIC to TIC to RAY: Calculating True Lifetime Cost of Capital for Municipal Borrowers
Peter Orr (Intuitive Analytics) & Martin J. Luby (DePaul University)
Discussant: Winthrop Smith (Win Analytics)


Daniel Bergstresser

Associate Professor of Finance - Rosenberg Institute of Global Finance, Brandeis International Business School

David Abel

Managing Director - Columbia Capital Management LLC

Sharon Kioko

Associate Professor of Public Administration - Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy & Governance at University of Washington

Track 2: Issues in state and local economics

Moderator: Bradley Wendt (Charles River Associates)


Term Limits and Municipal Borrowing Costs
Alex Abakah & Simi Kedia (Rutgers Business School)
Discussant: John Hallacy (Assured Guaranty)



Why Has Regional Income Convergence in the U.S. Declined?
Peter Ganong & Daniel Shoag (Harvard)
Discussant: Chris Mier (Loop Capital)



State Strategies for Detecting Fiscal Distress in Local Governments
Adrienne Lu, Matthew Cook, Stephen Fehr, Mary Murphy, & Daniel Newman (Pew Charitable Trusts)
Discussant: Gail Sussman (Moodys Investors Service)




Bradley Wendt

Senior Consultant - Charles River Associates

Alex Abakah

PhD Candidate in Finance - Rutgers Business School

Adrienne Lu

Senior Associate, State and Local Fiscal Health - Pew Charitable Trusts

Chris Mier

Chief Strategist & Managing Director, Analytical Services Division - Loop Capital

Gail Sussman

Managing Director, US Public Finance - Moodys Investors Service

From this Session

Term Limits and Municipal Borrowing Costs

Session 3: Public pensions

Moderator: Louise Sheiner (Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at Brookings)


Pensions & Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB)
Alicia Munnell & JP Aubry (Boston College)
Discussant: Clint Zweifel (Missouri State Treasurer)




Jean-Pierre Aubry

Associate Director of State and Local Research, Center for Retirement Research - Boston College

Alicia Munnell

Director, Center for Retirement Research and Peter F. Drucker Professor of Management Sciences - Boston College

From this Session


Pensions & Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB)

Louise Sheiner, Jean-Pierre Aubry, and Alicia Munnell

Keynote Address

From this Session

Panel: The muni market in the post-Detroit and post-Puerto Rico era

Judge Gerald E. Rosen

Former Chief Judge - United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Ben Watkins

Director - Florida Division of Bond Finance

From this Session

Panel: The muni market in the post-Detroit and post-Puerto Rico era

David Wessel, The Hon. Alejandro García Padilla, Natalie Cohen, Judge Gerald E. Rosen, James Spiotto, and Ben Watkins

More Information

To subscribe or manage your subscriptions to our top event topic lists, please visit our event topics page.

Get a weekly events calendar from Brookings