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

The CIA's new license to cyberattack

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In 2018 President Trump granted the Central Intelligence Agency expansive legal authorities to carry out covert actions in cyberspace, providing the agency with powers it has sought since the George W. Bush administration, former U.S. officials directly familiar with the matter told Yahoo News.

Why it matters: The CIA has conducted disruptive covert cyber operations against Iran and Russia since the signing of this presidential finding, said former officials.

3 hours ago - Technology

Tech hits the brakes on office reopenings

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Tech was the first industry to send its workers home when COVID-19 first hit the U.S., and it has been among the most cautious in bringing workers back. Even still, many companies are realizing that their reopening plans from as recently as a few weeks ago are now too optimistic.

Why it matters: Crafting reopening plans gave tech firms a chance to bolster their leadership and model the beginnings of a path back to normalcy for other office workers. Their decision to pause those plans is the latest sign that normalcy is likely to remain elusive in the U.S.

The existential threat to small business

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the game for U.S. businesses, pushing forward years-long shifts in workplaces, technology and buying habits and forcing small businesses to fight just to survive.

Why it matters: These changes are providing an almost insurmountable advantage to big companies, which are positioned to come out of the recession stronger and with greater market share than ever.