WATERVILLE VALLEY, N.H. -- State treasurers began a national conference here by considering the grim side of their work: the possibility of losing the public's money and trust.

"The world's not risk-free, but the public expects that you will make it that way," said Girard Miller, a senior vice president at Fidelity Investments. He said the keepers of the some $2 trillion of public funds at the state and lower levels of government face increasing risks from complex investment vehicles and failures by banks and other financial institutions.

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