ST. LOUIS -- If you are a state housing director, chances are good that you will hear from Spencer Burke sooner or later.

Whether it is by letter, over the telephone, or in person, Mr. Burke, the head of investment banking at Edward D. Jones & Co. in St. Louis, is pitching a simple gospel to states: His firm's retail customers badly want your bonds and are willing to buy them at a lower cost than institutional investors.

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