Welcome to AGFS




AGFS is a private firm located in Annapolis, Maryland, providing consulting and forensic analysis services to counsel and others relating to state and local government securities and transactions in municipal securities.

Robert Doty, President and proprietor of AGFS, has participated for more than 40 years in billions of dollars of successful transactions in municipal bonds, other municipal securities offerings, and corporate finance transactions benefiting local governments and private corporations in approximately two dozen states across the nation. AGFS continues to serve as consultant to, and municipal bond expert witness on municipal finance for, legal counsel to municipal securities issuers, underwriters, municipal advisors, bond counsel, trustees, investors and governmental agencies. AGFS no longer provides financial advisory services to state and local governments or obligated persons involved in municipal securities offerings.

Mr. Doty's recent book is the BLOOMBERG VISUAL GUIDE TO MUNICIPAL BONDS (John Wiley & Sons and Bloomberg Press, 2012). The book is available at Amazon.com, John Wiley & Sons, and Barnes & Noble

The BLOOMBERG VISUAL GUIDE TO MUNICIPAL BONDS discusses in plain English the diversity and complexity of municipal finance. There is a great deal of confusion as to the nature and security of various types of municipal securities. For example, Stockton, California, is failing to pay debt service on general fund lease securities (and certain redevelopment bonds). San Bernardino, California, is not paying general fund pension obligation bonds. The general fund securities are structured and secured quite differently from the similarly named traditional general obligation bonds backed by specific tax pledges, as well as from traditional municipal utility revenue bonds. Stockton and San Bernardino did not agree to increase taxes in order to pay their securities. Stockton is continuing to pay, and indeed, would be required to raise rates to pay, its water revenue securities. San Bernardino also is paying other securities.

Certain school districts often issue both general obligation securities and general fund lease-purchase securities. They also issue land-secured Mello-Roos and special assessment securities, which also are explained in the book.

A caution: Although Jefferson County, Alabama, atypically labeled securities on which the County recently defaulted as “general obligation” warrants, the warrants were not approved by the County’s voters; the County did not promise to increase ad valorem property taxes, if necessary, in order to pay the warrants; and as the County stated deep in the County’s official statement, the County did not “specifically pledge[]” taxes for that purpose. Instead, the County promised to pay the warrants solely from the County’s “general fund revenues.” The Detroit bankruptcy, however, is testing key aspects of general obligation finance.

The BLOOMBERG VISUAL GUIDE TO MUNICIPAL BONDS explains these and other key financial and legal issues relating to the municipal securities market.

The mission of the BLOOMBERG VISUAL GUIDE TO MUNICIPAL BONDS is to explain, as a definitive resource, in easily readable and understandable language, municipal securities structures and the municipal securities market for investors, issuers, professionals and students. The BLOOMBERG VISUAL GUIDE TO MUNICIPAL BONDS makes a key point that traditional municipal securities are sound. In addition, among other things, the book points out municipal market sectors that offer greater rewards for greater risks and identifies factors that are indicative of greater risks.

One of the key messages in the BLOOMBERG VISUAL GUIDE TO MUNICIPAL BONDS is that many pundits have been seriously wrong about the risks of traditional municipal bonds. In fact, those traditional bonds are even safer than generally supposed.

The following is an introductory video regarding the Bloomberg Visual Guuide to Municipal Bonds--


Another key message is that the pundits, as well as some regulators and market participants, have missed the significantly higher risks of other municipal bond market sectors or present in transactions that are readily-identifiable in advance.

In other words, the pundits have been wrong not once, but twice.

That information has significant implications for how issuers and offering participants should conduct their business and how investors and regulators should view the market.

The BLOOMBERG VISUAL GUIDE TO MUNICIPAL BONDS discusses a number of topics of current local and national significance in the light of the Chapter 9 bankruptcy filings by Jefferson County, Stockton and San Bernardino and threatened to be filed by Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The BLOOMBERG VISUAL GUIDE TO MUNICIPAL BONDS has significant contributions from Jim Spiotto of Chapman and Cutler (bankruptcy information and data), John Petersen of George Mason University (economic and default analysis), Mike Bartolotta of First Southwest and Tim Schaefer of Magis Advisors (trading, pricing and liquidity), Matt Fabian of Municipal Market Advisors (default data), all three rating agencies (default data) and other key market participants.

As you will see the BLOOMBERG VISUAL GUIDE TO MUNICIPAL BONDS is well-illustrated by John Wiley & Sons, with substantial data and graphical illustrations provided by Bloomberg L.P. It is in four-color throughout, with numerous tabular and graphical illustrations, Tips for Investors, Definitions, Key Points, Step by Step guides, references to resources, discussion of the MSRB’s EMMA, and other features.

The electronic edition of the BLOOMBERG VISUAL GUIDE TO MUNICIPAL BONDS for I-Pads, Kindle, and Nooks adds videos, tests for investors active web links, pop-ups and other active and colorful features that make the book a unique and highly professional product that is easy to use and understand.

Municipal Bonds Expert Witness Services: Robert Doty offers municipal securities expert witness and municipal bonds litigation and other legal consulting services for lawyers. He has participated in over 130 municipal bonds cases, and has testified as an expert witness more than 65 times. As appropriate, Mr. Doty works with plaintiff and defense counsel in municipal securities litigation with respect to the roles and responsibilities of issuers, financial and other municipal advisors, underwriters, counsel, trustees, feasibility consultants, appraisers, investors and other participants in municipal securities transactions.

AGFS® is a registered trademark of Robert W. Doty.

Please feel free to contact Robert Doty
to learn more about how his municipal bonds expert witness and litigation and other legal consulting services for lawyers can help you.

Robert W. Doty, President/Proprietor
839 Bestgate Road, Suite 400
Annapolis, MD 21401
Telephone: (916) 761-3432

E-mail: Robert.Doty@AGFS.com

NOTICE: AGFS has relocated to Annapolis, Maryland.

AGFS® is a registered trademark of Robert W. Doty.

Robert W. Doty, President - American Governmental Financial Services