Nov 5, 2019

Municipal bonds are on pace for a record year

Los Angeles. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Municipal bonds are on pace to see the highest inflows on record, data provider Lipper notes, surpassing the previous high set in 2009.

What's happening: Not only has the asset class almost surpassed the previous record already, but by mid-year, 2019's inflows were also "more than 10 times the amount of new investor money gathered over the whole of 2018," notes Mark Marinella, a portfolio manager at Capital Group.

What it means: The buying spree has been prompted by the Fed's rate cutting cycle, which has reduced the attractiveness of other bonds that don't carry munis' tax-friendly status, and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Lipper senior research analyst Pat Keon points out in a recent post.

  • The tax law change capped state and local tax deductions at $10,000.

Why you'll hear about this again: "Even with muni yields near multiyear lows, after-tax yields have continued to exceed those of taxable bonds for anyone whose marginal tax rate is 24% or higher — well below the top tax rate of 37%," Marinella says.

Go deeper: Municipal bonds are 2019's hottest asset

Go deeper

How Democrats want to change the energy tax code

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.). Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Democrats on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee have unveiled draft legislation that would extend and/or expand a suite of tax credits for climate-friendly energy sources.

Why it matters: The tax code has historically been a driver of solar and wind power deployment, as well as electric vehicle sales, and much more.

Go deeperArrowNov 20, 2019

Greece's incredible bond rally

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The S&P 500 has enjoyed a strong year and equities around the globe have delivered solid returns, but every one of the world's major stock markets has underperformed 2019's grand champ: Greek government debt.

Why it matters: Long-dated Greek sovereign bonds have been one of the best-performing assets in the world in 2019, having delivered returns more than double the S&P 500 through Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowNov 6, 2019

California strikes down law requiring presidential tax returns to appear on ballot

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The California Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously ruled against a law requiring presidential and gubernatorial candidates to disclose their past five years of tax returns for a spot on the state's primary ballot, per the Sacramento Bee.

Why it matters: California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the bill in July in an effort to compel Trump to release his tax returns. While campaigning in 2016, Trump argued he could not release the records because he was under audit. The chairwoman of the California Republican Party sued over the law, sending the matter to the state's high court.

Go deeperArrowNov 21, 2019