New York City bonds, with Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani in office, yield about 60 basis points more than triple-A bonds. When David N. Dinkins held the office, New York City bonds yielded 240 basis points more. Keep an eye on that spread.

The differential is a good measure of the city's financial health and a check on fiscal mismanagement. It will come under close scrutiny in coming months as the Giuliani Administration struggles to bring spending under better control and into some son of alignment with revenues.

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