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Past Event

6th annual Municipal Finance Conference

MFC 2017 logos

The Municipal Finance Conference aims to bring together academics, practitioners, issuers and regulators to discuss recent research on municipal markets and municipal finance. On July 17 and 18, the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at Brookings partnered with the Rosenberg Institute of Global Finance at Brandeis International Business School, the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, and the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago to host the 6th annual conference.

Brookings hosted the bulk of the program, but the cocktail hour and dinner keynote on the evening of July 17 took place at the nearby Capital Hilton.  Click here for information on the conference.



Monday, July 17

From this Session

Day 1, Part 1

Plenary I

will be webcast on this page

Changes in the municipal capital markets since the Great Recession
Dan Bergstresser (Brandeis International Business School) and Martin Luby (UT Austin)


Moderator: Rich Ryffel (Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis)
Panelists: Natalie Cohen (Wells Fargo), Colin MacNaught (BondLink), Brad Wendt (Charles River Associates)

From this Session

Changes in the municipal capital markets since the great recession

Breakout session I

Track 1

  • Moderator: Tracy Gordon (Urban Institute)


Investment risk-taking by public pension plans: Potential consequences for pension funds, state and local governments, and stakeholders in government
Don Boyd (SUNY Rockefeller Institute of Government)
Discussant: Louise Sheiner (The Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at Brookings)


Risky choices: simulating public pension funding stress with realistic shocks
Dan Shoag (Harvard Kennedy School) & Jim Farrell (Florida Southern University)
Discussant: Byron Lutz (Federal Reserve Board)


The impact of the VRA on municipal reform, pensions, and investments
Richard Boylan (Rice University)
Discussant: Nancy Winkler (Former Treasurer, City of Philadelphia)

Track 2

Moderator: Stephen Winterstein (Wilmington Trust Investment Advisors)


Creating a live yield curve in the illiquid muni market
Andy Kalotay (Kalotay Associates)
Discussant: Tom Doe (MMA Research)


The cost burden of negotiated sales restrictions of school district bonds: A natural experiment using heterogeneous state laws
Dario Cestau (IE Business School)
Discussant: Linda Matkowski (Stern Brothers & Co.)


Regulatory disclosure interventions in municipal securities secondary markets: Market price effects and the relative impacts on retail and institutional investors
Komla Dzigbede (SUNY Binghamton)
Discussant: Karol Denniston (Squire Patton Boggs)

Dinner and keynote

at the Capital Hilton

This portion of the program took place at the Capital Hilton. 

From this Session

Keynote with Kasim Reed

Tuesday, July 18

From this Session

Day 2

Breakout session II

Track 1

Moderator: Nancy Winkler (Former Treasurer, City of Philadelphia)


Bondholders vs. retirees in municipal bankruptcies: The political economy of Chapter 9
Diane Dick (Seattle University School of Law)
Discussant: Carol O’Cleireacain (Former Deputy Mayor for Economic Policy and Planning, City of Detroit)


Collective bargaining and state and local government pensions
Brigham Frandsen (Brigham Young University)
Discussant: Paul Payne (City of St. Louis, MO)

Track 2

The Moderator: Mike Belsky (Harris School of Public Policy, UChicago)


When transparency pays: The moderating effect of reporting quality on changes in the cost of debt
Christine Cuny (NYU Stern School of Business)
Discussant: Tom Kozlik (PNC Capital Markets)


Private placement of municipal debt: Lessons from California’s mandatory disclosure rule
Sylesh Volla (Stanford University, Public Policy Program)

Discussant: Linda Matkowski (Stern Brothers & Co.)

Plenary II

Moderator: Mark Funkhouser (Governing Magazine) 


Fiscal resilience among U.S. states varies as economic expansion surpasses seven-year mark
Gabriel Petek (S&P Global)
Discussant: Timothy Coffin (Breckinridge Capital Advisors)


How rainy day funds influence state credit ratings
Jonathan Moody (Pew Charitable Trusts)
Discussant: Kim Rueben (Urban Institute)

Panel: What are the obstacles to increased public infrastructure investment?

Moderator: David Wessel (Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at Brookings)


Panelists: Darlene Green (Comptroller, City of St. Louis), Sarah Kline (Bipartisan Policy Center, SK Solutions), Lois Scott (Former CFO, City of Chicago), Stephen Wood (Stephen A. Wood Consulting, LLC)

From this Session

Panel: What are the obstacles to increased public infrastructure investment?

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