It is impossible to tell the story of the first half of 2009 in the municipal market without pointing to the creation of the Build America Bond program.

Since the program’s inception, taxable BABs have taken the municipal market by storm, with $15.56 billion of bonds sold in the first half of 2009, roughly 8% of the $196.72 billion of bonds that were priced in that period — and that’s despite the first BAB deal not hitting the market until April 15. The 148 BAB issues that were priced in the first half was close to 3% of the 5,541 issues priced in the muni market over the same period.

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