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Wall St traders bet against NJ, other state bonds

Goldman Sachs is advising clients to short debt issued by New Jersey and other states, complains an NJ state rep.

"Bets against public debt, once unheard of on bonds considered safe enough for retirees, have soared as the National Conference of State Legislatures projects recession-fueled budget crises will cause $97 billion of shortfalls nationwide over the next 18 to 24 months, writes Bloomberg News reporter Andy Mildenberg in this story.

"It's 'disturbing' to advise investors to bet against the financial health of a state whose bonds Goldman helps sell, Assemblyman Gary S. Schaer, a Democrat who chairs the Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee, said last week in a letter to Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein." Of course, one of Blankfein's predecessors, Jon Corzine, is New Jersey's governor.