One of my favorite charts in the book is Figure 3.1 on Page 29. It really puts the high yield muni market in the proper historical perspective. Unfortunately, by this time, the data displayed in the book is almost a year old. Blame it on the publishing cycle. So here’s an updated version of the same chart, this time in glorious colors for your viewing pleasure. I am very grateful to my friends at Standard & Poor’s and Investortools for allowing the use of their data.
As you can see, high yield spreads widened out further in late 2011, probably on the back of renewed Eurozone concerns, but have since tightened again. Still, the most recent spread of +402 (as of May 2012) is still quite wide compared to the historical average of +291 over the period in question.