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Municipal Debt Markets and the COVID-19 Pandemic



In March, with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, the market for municipal securities was severely stressed: mutual fund redemptions sparked unprecedented selling of municipal securities, yields increased sharply, and issuance dried up. In this post, we describe the evolution of municipal bond market conditions since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. We show that conditions in municipal markets have improved significantly, in part a result of the announcement and implementation of several Federal Reserve facilities. Yields have decreased substantially, mutual funds have received significant inflows, and issuance has rebounded. These improvements in municipal market conditions help ensure that state and local governments have better access to funding for critical capital investments.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Cipriani & Andrew F. Haughwout & Benjamin Hyman & Anna Kovner & Gabriele La Spada & Matthew Lieber & Shawn Nee, 2020. "Municipal Debt Markets and the COVID-19 Pandemic," Liberty Street Economics 20200629, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednls:88240

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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Cipriani & Gabriele La Spada, 2020. "Sophisticated and Unsophisticated Runs," Staff Reports 956, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    2. Huixin Bi & W. Blake Marsh, 2020. "Flight to Liquidity or Safety? Recent Evidence from the Municipal Bond Market," Research Working Paper RWP 20-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    3. Tracy Gordon & Lucy Dadayan & Kim Rueben, 2020. "State and Local Government Finances in the COVID-19 Era," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 73(3), pages 733-758, September.
    4. Robert Bernhardt & Stefania D'Amico & Santiago I. Sordo Palacios, 2021. "The Impact of Covid-19 Related Policy Responses on Municipal Debt Markets," Working Paper Series WP-2021-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    5. Andrew F. Haughwout & Benjamin Hyman & Or Shachar, 2021. "The Option Value of Municipal Liquidity: Evidence from Federal Lending Cutoffs during COVID-19," Staff Reports 988, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    6. John Bagley & Nicholas Fritsch & Shawn Nee, 2021. "Municipal Markets and the Municipal Liquidity Facility," Working Papers 202107, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

    More about this item


    state and local governments; municipal debt; MLF; municipal debt markets; COVID-19;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General

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