State and local governments issue "muni bonds," as they're known, to pay for building and repairing schools, sewers, roads, and other elements of the infrastructure. These are exactly the same projects that Barack Obama is now hoping to kickstart in his effort to save or create 3 million jobs. But as CNN explained earlier this year, the financial risks taken on by adventuresome bond insurers have left municipalities saddled with higher risk premiums for their ol' reliable bonds.
Not only is that unfair, it's a possible roadblock to state and local rebuilding. Frank told us he wants to look at creating a federal bond insurance program that would guarantee states and cities a low risk premium, one that reflects the steady and worthwhile nature of their projects. Amen, congressman.