Merritt President and CEO, Richard A. Ciccarone Updates Annual Municipal Bond Audit Times Analysis

Municipal bond analysts and investors are accustomed to waiting a lot longer for municipal bond financial audits to be completed after the close of the fiscal year than they would on a corporate bond.  While public corporations are required to file an annual audit within 60 to 90 days after the close of the year, municipal bond borrowers often finish their audited annual reports in close to twice that time and a large number take even much longer (...)

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Category: CreditScope, Merritt Data, Article

Merritt Expands Database to Include Additional Credits

We are happy to share the results of our continued efforts to improve the depth and breadth of our tax-backed offering. Effective this month, we are officially adding approximately 100 of the more significant (in terms of debt issuance) Dedicated Tax Credits for inclusion to the standard data set.  Please look for this expanded dataset in your data update. To verify that your system has been appropriately updated, you may check under the [Help] button on the main menu and select [About CreditScope]. Look for a "Credit data date" of 10/05/2018 or later.

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Category: CreditScope, Merritt Data

What End-Users Should Expect for GASB 67/68 in CreditScope – Part Three

As reported in Part Two, we have been busy making necessary database modifications to implement the GASB 67/68 reporting standards into our data set.  Initially, we provided pension-related data fields to accommodate both Single/Multi-Employer Agent plans and the Multi-Employer Cost Sharing plans for the City, County and School District sectors.  In Part Two, we provided pension-related data fields to accommodate both Single/Multi-Employer Agent plans and the Multi-Employer Cost Sharing plans for the State sector. We are now pleased to be providing a break out of Multi-Employer...

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Category: CreditScope, Merritt Data

Merritt Expands Database to Include Additional Credits

We are happy to share the results of our continued efforts to improve the depth and breadth of our tax-backed offering. Effective this month, we officially dropped the population threshold for inclusion to the standard data set to an even 30,000 for each of the three relevant sectors (City, County and School District).  Please look for this expanded dataset in your data update. To verify that your system has been appropriately updated, you may check under the [Help] button on the main menu and select [About CreditScope]. Look for a "Credit data date" of 1/13/2017 or later.

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Category: CreditScope, Merritt Data

What End-Users Should Expect for GASB 67/68 in CreditScope – Part Two

As we reported in late July, we have been busy making necessary database modifications in an effort to implement the GASB 67/68 reporting standards into our data set.  Initially, we provided pension-related data fields to accommodate both Single/Multi-Employer Agent plans and the Multi-Employer Cost Sharing plans for the City, County and School District sectors.  Since then, we have been working diligently to propagate related content into those data fields. We are now pleased to be updating the State sector software to include pension-related data fields that mirror the new City...

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Category: CreditScope, Merritt Data

What End-Users Should Expect for GASB 67/68 in CreditScope

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) in 2012 released new accounting standards for public pension plans and participating employers. These standards, GASB Statements No. 67 and 68, have substantially revised the accounting requirements previously mandated under GASB Statements No. 25 and 27.  With GASB 67 effective for plan fiscal years ending after June 15, 2014, and GASB 68 effective for employer fiscal years ending after June 15, 2015, we began to see governments reporting under the new standards with their FY2015 audits.     Given that we have now seen...

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Category: CreditScope, Merritt Data

Metro Crime Statistics Added to CreditScope

CreditScope users who have completed a system update should be able to view a selection of Metro and State FBI crime statistics for all general obligation and revenue bond credits covered by Merritt Research. National, Region, Region Division, and State FBI data is available for all credits in CreditScope. Metro FBI data will be available for credits where the feature ID links to a medium-sized to larger metro area. To find crime data: Click on the Demographics button on the Credit Detail Screen.

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Category: CreditScope, Demographics, Merritt Data

Gini Index of Income Inequality

Merritt has added a new demographic field to the database, the Gini Index. The Gini Index is a measure of inequality in the distribution of household income that was developed by Italian statistician Corrado Gini. According to the American Community Survey and Puerto Rico Community Survey 2012 Subject Definitions, "The Gini ranges from zero (perfect equality) to one (perfect inequality), and it is calculated by measuring the difference between a diagonal line (the purely proportionate distribution) and the distribution of actual values (a Lorenz curve)." Therefore, an index of zero would...

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Category: CreditScope, Demographics, Merritt Data

How Soon Are Demographic Releases Applied to CreditScope?

Demographic data within CreditScope is obtained from three federal governmental agencies: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the U.S. Census Bureau. With the release of new updates almost weekly, Merritt is continuously updating demographic data so that it is as up-to-date as possible. In some cases, updates can take longer to implement, which leads to the question: "How soon do demographic releases get applied to Credit Scope?" The most frequent updates come from the BLS. These updates are generally released on a weekly basis,...

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Category: CreditScope, Demographics, Merritt Data

What Type of Credits are Included in the Standard Credit Universe?

Clients often ask about the type of credits included in the "Standard Credit Universe." For a detailed explanation, open your CreditScope program. On the Task Bar located on the left side of your screen, highlight "CreditScope." Below that, select the first heading that is bolded with a small triangle pointed to the right. A list of sectors will be displayed. The sector names notated with an asterisk are considered current Merritt Sectors and thus contain the credits included in the Standard Credit Universe. Credits which fall within Sectors not notated by an asterisk can often be made...

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Category: CreditScope, Merritt Data

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