Money: Nervous Scramble

Apprehensively, New York City Controller Mario Procaccino last week opened the little tin box in which he receives bids on municipal-bond issues and managed to look relieved. Inside lay a bid (which he promptly accepted) for a $119.1 million bundle of tax-exempt bonds with an average 7½-year maturity at an annual interest cost of 4.91%, the highest paid by the city since mid-Depression 1932. It was uncomfortably close to the 5% ceiling beyond which the financially pressed city may not legally borrow at all and would bring the total interest cost of the issue to $43,194,648. Yet the...

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