Arranging difficult financings at affordable rates has been a long-revered goal of tax-exempt market participants. It is the foundation upon which the now huge third-party credit enhancement industry has been built, and it has inspired much of the innovation in public finance over the last 15 years.

Several trends are now converging that will require new infusions of creativity--a protracted recession, growing housing and infrastructure needs, deteriorating credit quality among issuers and letter of credit providers, and increasing risk aversion among investors.

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