Brandeis International Business School

4th annual municipal finance conference focuses on emerging issues, opportunities for research

The conference brought together more than 100 academics, practitioners, regulators and issuers

Daniel Bergstresser and Richard Ryffel at the conference.

On August 7, the Rosenberg Institute of Global Finance at Brandeis International Business School and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston brought together more than 100 academics, practitioners, regulators and issuers for the fourth annual Municipal Finance Conference. 

The event, hosted at the Boston Fed, highlighted several emerging issues and opportunities for research in the municipal marketplace. 

The conference was conceptualized and founded in 2012 by Brandeis International Business School Professor Daniel Bergstresser and Richard Ryffel, former managing director at Edward Jones and director at J.P. Morgan. This year’s event featured more than 30 speakers and presenters, including former emergency manager of Detroit, Kevyn Orr; professors and lecturers from Harvard Business School and other universities; and representatives of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Internal Revenue Service and a variety of investment and financial management firms.

Orr delivered the keynote address. He spoke of his oversight of the largest and most complicated municipal bankruptcy proceeding in the nation’s history following Detroit’s 2013 financial emergency and his restructuring of the city’s finances and operations.

“The future of the city looks good,” he told attendees. “The short version is that it took us a while to get through the process, and it certainly wasn’t easy or pretty. But the initial indications are that we are at or exceeding where we thought we would go.” 

The wide range of subjects discussed during the conference included the impact of the Affordable Care Act on cities and states, international municipal markets and the municipal market as a key economic engine in the U.S.

“This conference has become an important annual gathering for the municipal community,” said Bergstresser. “It’s a great forum for practitioners and regulators to discuss the newest and most relevant research."

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