Mark S. Ferber, who was recently forced to dissolve a secret contract to generate swaps business in New England for Merrill Lynch & Co., tried in 1991 to market a swap in Massachusetts that officials there now believe would have been a major flop for the state.

In trying to sell the swap to Massachusetts officials, who ultimately rejected the plan, Ferber argued that the state did not have enough money to meet a $120 million debt service payment due on March 1, 1991, for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

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