Lebenthal. You know the name. You know the voice from radio and TV. He may even have woke you every morning in the ‘80s and ‘90s with his “Bond of the Day” on WQXR. What you may not know is that Jim Lebenthal’s extraordinary life turning abstract ideas into graphic word and picture images – as a Life Magazine reporter, Walt Disney film producer, Academy Award nominee for his own short movie, NBC television producer, Y & R and Ogilvy & Mather copywriter – was all in preparation for joining the Lebenthal family bond business 45 years ago and turning the bonds of our great American cities and states into Lebenthal’s “babies” and other lively Lebenthalisms, like the Workhorse and the Cashcow. His commitment to putting “munis” within the reach and comprehension of the average individual investor have won Jim lifetime achievement awards from the National Federation of Municipal Analysts and The Bond Market Association and made Lebenthal & Co. a landmark on the business skyline of New York. In keeping with the candor of Jim’s recent memoir, “Confessions of a Municipal Bond Salesman,” Jim has titled his remarks, “Okay, Lebenthal. What’ve you got to say now?” From this veteran of The City Fiscal Crisis, The Great Inflation, Tax Reform, “Whoops!” and the ravenous reach for return in the “second safest investment in America,” here is what next for munis…in these uncertain times?
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