Municipal bonds: The dark side of the muni

The Build America Bonds programme has given a boost to the US municipal bond market. But with many states running large fiscal deficits, the spectre of downgrades in what used to be considered a bulletproof market is a concern for investors.

Investors keen on suspense should put some chips on US municipal bonds. With two rival forces tugging at what traditionally has been regarded as an uneventful market, 2010 could either see a year of steady recovery or a scenario closer to meltdown.

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