LISTEN: Special Briefing on the Impact of COVID-19 on the Fiscal Outlook of State and Local Governments

The Volcker Alliance
Title special briefing with a podium under a spotlight



The Impact of COVID-19 on the Fiscal Outlook of State and Local Governments 

Thursday, April 16, at 11:00 AM EDT

The Volcker Alliance and Penn Institute for Urban Research cohosted an online briefing, attended by over 400 listeners, to discuss strategies for surmounting the severe fiscal challenges that the coronavirus pandemic is posing for US states and municipalities.
Moderated by William Glasgall, Volcker Alliance senior vice president and director of state and local initiatives, and Susan Wachter, co-director of Penn IUR, this briefing was the first in a series of 60-minute online conversations featuring experts from the Volcker Alliance’s national research network and Penn IUR, along with other leading academics, economists, and fiscal policy leaders from around the US.
In addition to the moderators discussing strategies that cities and states will be employing and programs at risk of being cut, this special briefing featured:
  • Thomas W. Ross, president of the Volcker Alliance, introducing the virtual panel series
  • Richard A. Ravitch, former New York State Lieutenant Governor and Volcker Alliance board member, discussing strategies for dealing with fiscal stress
  • Matt Fabian, partner and head of market and credit research at Municipal Market Analytics, discussing borrowing needs of states and localities and the municipal bond market’s response


Featured Speakers:

Matt Fabian is a partner at Municipal Market Analytics (MMA) where he leads market and credit research. Mr. Fabian is the lead contributor MMA’s weekly Municipal Outlook and biweekly Municipal Default Trends. His expansive knowledge of the idiosyncratic characteristics of the municipal market has made him one of the primary voices of the industry. Prior to MMA in 2015, Mr. Fabian served in a similar capacity at Municipal Market Advisors since 2006. Mr. Fabian has served as chairman of the Municipal Analysts Group of New York (MAGNY) and was on the Board of Governors of the National Federation of Municipal Analysts (NFMA). He is routinely a featured speaker at numerous industry conferences on a wide range of topics, including investment strategy, demographic trends, bond insurance, tax reform, derivatives, defaults, state governments, and municipal credit.

Prior to his current position, Mr. Fabian was the lead municipal research analyst for UBS and UBS Wealth Management Research. Earlier in his career he was an underwriting analyst at FSA, and a municipal rating analyst with Moody’s Investors Service. Mr. Fabian has an undergraduate degree from Penn State University, and masters of public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

William Glasgall joined the Volcker Alliance in January 2014 as director of the Alliance’s State and Local initiatives. Previously, he was managing editor at Bloomberg News, overseeing coverage of state and local government and financial news that won numerous awards from the Overseas Press Club and other organizations.

His career also includes almost two decades at BusinessWeek Magazine, where he won two Overseas Press Club Awards for international reporting, and as a vice president at Standard & Poor’s. Mr. Glasgall is a member of the Municipal Fiscal Health Working Group of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy; a governor of the Overseas Press Club Foundation; and a former member of the Board of Overseers of the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship Program in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University, where he was also a fellow. He is a graduate of Boston University and lives in New Jersey.

Richard Ravitch, former New York State Lieutenant Governor, began his career as a principal of HRH Construction Corporation, building more than 45,000 units of affordable housing. In 1975, he became Chairman of the New York State Urban Development Corporation as it faced the first municipal bankruptcy since the 1930s, and later assisted New York City and State officials in resolving the city’s defaults. In 1979, he became Chairman and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Author of So Much to Do: A Full Life of Business, Politics, and Confronting Fiscal Crises, Mr. Ravitch advised Detroit’s bankruptcy judge and co-chaired the State Budget Crisis Task Force with former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker. He is a director of the Volcker Alliance and received his L.L.B. from Yale University School of Law.

Thomas W. Ross has served as president of the Volcker Alliance since July 1, 2016. He remains president emeritus of the 17-campus University of North Carolina and serves as the Sanford Distinguished Fellow in Public Policy at the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy. Previously, Ross served as president of Davidson College, executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, director of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, a Superior Court judge, chief of staff to a US Congressman, a member of a Greensboro, NC law firm, and as an assistant professor at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Government.

Ross holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Davidson College and graduated with honors from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law.

Susan Wachter is Sussman Professor and professor of real estate and finance at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. From 1998 to 2001, she served as assistant secretary for policy development and research, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the senior urban policy official and principal advisor to the secretary. At The Wharton School, she was chairperson of the real estate department and professor of real estate and finance from July 1997 until her 1998 appointment to HUD. At Penn, she co-founded and currently is co-director of the Penn Institute for Urban Research. She also founded and currently serves as director of Wharton’s Geographical Information Systems Lab. She was the editor of Real Estate Economics from 1997 to 1999 and currently serves on the editorial boards of several real estate journals. She is the author of more than two hundred scholarly publications and the recipient of several awards for teaching excellence at The Wharton School. Her forthcoming edited volume, Perspectives on Fair Housing, will be published by Penn Press. Previous volumes include Shared Prosperity in America’s Communities and Neighborhood and Life Chances. She has served on multiple for-profit and not-for-profit boards and currently serves on the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee of Fannie Mae and the Office of Financial Research Advisory Committee of the US Treasury. She frequently comments on national media and testifies to Congress on US housing policy.