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Bond Buyer Indexes

The 20-Bond Index consists of 20 general obligation bonds that mature in 20 years. The average rating of the 20 bonds is roughly equivalent to Moody's Investors Service's Aa2 rating and Standard & Poor's Corp.'s AA. The 11-Bond Index uses a select group of 11 bonds in the 20-Bond Index. The average rating of the 11 bonds is roughly equivalent to Moody's Aa1 and S&P's AA-plus. The Revenue Bond Index consists of 25 various revenue bonds that mature in 30 years. The average rating is roughly equivalent to Moody's A1 and S&P's A-plus.

The indexes represent theoretical yields rather than actual price or yield quotations. Municipal bond traders are asked to estimate what a current-coupon bond for each issuer in the indexes would yield if the bond was sold at par value. The indexes are simple averages of the average estimated yields of the bonds.

The 10-year and 30-year Treasury yields are the market quotes for those securities at the time that the indexes are calculated.

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 20-Bond GO Index
 11-Bond GO Index
 Revenue Bond Index
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Issuance of municipal MSA tobacco bonds by states was the subject of a highly critical article published by ProPublica. The article attempts to make a case that states erred in deciding to issue tobacco bonds. The article was widely circulated across social media. As we frequently observe, the national media focus on the muni market is appreciated, but the facts got muddied in the pursuit of a good story.

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