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The Mechanics of Corruption IV

Largely un-noticed due to the Blogojevich scandal and the Burris senate-seat hoopla is the story about the federal investigation into bid-rigging and other wrong-doings in the municipal bond market. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson withdrew his nomination to the post of Commerce Secretary in Obama’s administration as a result of the scandal.

Some interesting excerpts from the article, which originally appeared in The New York times:

Three federal agencies and a loose consortium of state attorneys general have for several years been gathering evidence of what appears to be collusion among the banks and other companies that have helped state and local governments take approximately $400 billion worth of municipal notes and bonds to market each year.

“It’s rare to sell a Senate seat, but it’s not rare to sell a bond deal,” said Charles Anderson, who retired as manager of tax-exempt bond field operations for the Internal Revenue Service in 2007. “Pay-to-play in the municipal bond market is epidemic.”

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