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Fixed income market baby steps

The fixed income markets have long been the domain of institutions… partly this is due to the cost of getting data and information related to fixed income… credit ratings… pricing data… security master data… it’s wonderful to see firms beginning to use the Internet to untangle, process and package information for this market… hopefully one outcome of the credit crisis will be an unbinding of this information… one could argue that the instability of this market is due in part to lack of transparency and the limited distribution of fundamental data… baby steps…  

From Wall Street and Tech

~~~~ FirstRain Adds Fixed Income Research to Its Web Search/Report Offerings

Service searches the web for indicators of defaults and downgrade risks that can affect bond value.

By Penny Crosman
February 23, 2009

As the stock market continues its roller-coaster ride and investors turn more to corporate and government debt, FirstRain today is adding fixed income research to its stable of web search-driven market research offerings. The basic FirstRain service trawls the web for news, events and facts related to a certain market and packages it up into a daily email and/or web site portal page.

Today’s offering expands the service to include fixed income, to help equity analysts and fixed income investors get a sense of how current events are affecting corporate debt and municipal bonds. It looks for indicators of defaults and downgrade risk that can affect bond value. For instance, for municipal bonds, indicators might include a change in sales tax or a spate of local car dealerships shutting down.

The FirstRain extension for corporate debt research provides investors with qualitative information from blogs, news, local, global and industry sources, on factors that affect debt issuers’ cashflow and long-term ability to meet debt obligations. It offers management analytics said to detect announced and unannounced management turnover trends below the executive suite, with analysis versus comparable firms, as well as attributed executive quotes, interviews, and “no comments.” It gathers data about channel partners, customer wins and losses, changes in pricing, competitor strength, positioning, perceptions, and emerging competitive threats, as well as new products, market response, and supply chains costs and inputs. It presents information about corporate structure and financials, including investor opinions, earnings forecasts and projections of potential merger and acquisition activity, strategic partnerships and other elements that affect future debt and long-term ability to pay.

The new FirstRain Municipal Bond Report provides reporting on infrastructure spending plans, execution and analysis; municipal budget activity (government successes and failures to address widening deficits); jobs and employment trends, with local and specialized reporting for states, counties and cities; and trends and alternative research on the municipal bond market by state. A lightweight version of the municipal bond research is available free on FirstRain’s web site.

FirstRain’s clients tend to be large hedge funds and mutual funds.” ~~~~

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