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The Dynamics of Municipal Markets with Barnet Sherman

Where Public Finance Works

Episode 13 Show Notes

“I don't think there is one person who is not touched in one way, shape, form, or another, by what happens in a municipal bond finance project.”

- Barnet Sherman, Professor at Boston University

Episode Summary

In this episode of Where Public Finance Works, join us for a captivating conversation with Barnet Sherman, a financial expert and Professor at Boston University. With over 30 years of experience managing multibillion-dollar portfolios at Morgan Stanley and TIAA, Barnet brings his knowledge and fascinating insights into the world of public finance.

Host Tyler Traudt takes us through Barnet's extensive career, starting from his early days as an analyst to his significant role as a portfolio manager. Barnet reflects on the diverse projects he's been part of, highlighting not only the large-scale transactions for major cities but also the smaller, impactful projects in rural areas that have created jobs and improved community facilities.

Barnet also shares his experiences in running portfolios, explaining the intricate balance between analyzing investment values and understanding the broader benefits for investors. He then takes listeners through his time at Neighborly Investments, where he worked on the cutting edge of technology and impact investing. He explains how technology, especially blockchain, is transforming the municipal bond market, offering new opportunities for accessibility and efficiency in public finance.

Tune in to hear Barnet's thoughtful perspective on how public finance is evolving, the role of technology in enhancing financial processes, and his unwavering commitment to improving communities through strategic financial management. This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in the intersection of finance, technology, and public service.

Featured Guest

Barnet Sherman is a financial expert with over 30 years of experience managing multibillion-dollar portfolios for prestigious firms such as Morgan Stanley and TIAA. Throughout his distinguished career on Wall Street, Barnet also founded his own hedge fund and has written extensively on the capital markets as a Senior Contributor for Forbes.

Currently a Professor at Boston University, Barnet leverages his extensive industry experience to impart practical, real-world insights in his Corporate Finance, Accounting, and Multinational Finance and Trade classes for graduate students. His expert opinions on investing and capital markets have been featured in leading publications including The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Bloomberg, The New York Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, CNBC, and Inc.

Barnet also leads The Tenbar Group, a consulting firm advising public companies, private equity impact fund portfolio companies, and mission-driven startups in the healthcare, senior care, and housing sectors. His firm specializes in strategic transactions, investment banking, finance, business development, and valuations.

Top Takeaways From Episode 13

(1) Transparency and Disclosure in Public Finance: Barnet stresses the need for digitized and streamlined disclosure processes in the municipal bond market, especially with the upcoming Financial Data Transparency Act (FDTA). He urges that improved transparency can reduce costs and increase efficiency, ultimately benefiting taxpayers and municipalities.

(2) Technology's Future in Municipal Bonds: Barnet discusses the potential of blockchain technology to revolutionize the municipal bond market by increasing accessibility and reducing the need for traditional intermediaries. He believes this could lead to more efficient and direct bond sales. He advocates for the adoption of AI and data analytics in public finance to better assess credit risks and improve access to capital. He shares that this approach can lead to more accurate pricing and enhanced stability for municipal bonds.

(3) The Human Aspect of Investing: Barnet reflects on the broader impact of investment returns, emphasizing that they support real-life outcomes like retirements, education, and community services. This perspective highlights the human side of financial management.


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