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Diane Publishing Books
D. Andrew Austin (au)
Many municipalities, student loan providers, and other debt issuers borrowed funds using auction-rate securities (ARSs), whose interest rates are set periodically by auctions. ARSs combine features of short- and long-term securities. ARSs are typically long-maturity bonds with interest rates linked to short-term money markets. ARS issuance volumes grew rapidly since they were introduced in the mid-1980s. By 2007, ARSs comprised a $330 billion market. The credit crunch of 2007-2008, however, exposed major vulnerabilities in the design of ARSs. Turmoil in global financial markets that erupted in summer 2007, combined with vulnerabilities in the structure of ARSs, put mounting pressure on the ARS market. In addition, downgrades of some bond insurers increased stress on segments of the ARS market. In early Feb. 2008, major ARS dealers withdrew their support for ARS auctions, most of which then failed. Contents of this report: Congressional Concerns: State and Local Finance; Student Loans; Oversight and Financial Regulation; Structure of the Auction-Rate Securities Market; The Fall of the ARS Market; The Aftermath; Issues for Congress. Figures and tables. This is a print on demand report.
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