Does anyone have a good book on the history of Muni Bonds that focuses on the reasons why they grew in popularity, adoption, and gov policy souring them.

Background on why I need this info

I am writing a paper for my college history class, titled when wall street met main street. We are allowed to self select a topic and I chose to focus on the change in the bond markets and that relationship with the public.

What I think could be a great topic is the rise lease revenue bonds for funding prisons, and how this has played out.


I highly recommend the following books on municipal finance, with a strong focus on municipal bonds:

  1. Encyclopedia of Municipal Bonds (Joe Mysak), despite the name a small book with quick overviews of almost all major topics in municipal finance.
  2. The Handbook of Municipal Bonds (various authors, a collection of essays), a more detailed and technical volume to build on after reading Mysaks' shorter encyclopedia.
  3. The Fundamentals of Municipal Bonds (MSRB), a short technical volume on the municipal bond market. Filled with useful charts and statistics.

For color on the evolution of the municipal market, through the lens of major municipal defaults, I recommend:

  1. Detroit Resurrected: To Bankruptcy and Back.
  2. Fear City: New York's Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics. I preferred the Detroit one if you are only going to read one.
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you so much for the great resources $\endgroup$
    – Conrad G
    Mar 3 '20 at 19:04

The Guidebook to Municipal Bonds: The History, the Industry, the Mechanics (1991) by George J. Malvin

The Tax Policy Center Briefing Book on The State of State (and Local) Tax Policy might be a good place to call.


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