The 2009 rankings for bond insurers will surprise no one who has been paying attention to the municipal market. The dominant player in the game didn’t just command a large slice of the pie — it took the pie itself, minus a few crumbs here and there.

Through its two subsidiaries, Assured Guaranty Ltd. insured $34.8 billion of municipal debt last year, or 98.2% of the insured market, according to Thomson Reuters. Competition was virtually absent as the former bigwigs, among them Ambac Assurance Corp. and MBIA Inc., spent the year attempting to recover from the credit injuries they incurred in the financial crisis.

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