US - State pension plans could create a bond insurer under a proposal mooted by California treasurer Bill Lockyer.
He said: "It is in the exploratory, preliminary stages but the idea would be pension funds getting together and forming a monoline bond insurer."
Lockyer is on the board of both the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) and California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) and Dresslar said those would be natural places for the treasurer to go to start exploring the possibilities.
He said some of the insurers in California no longer had a triple-A rating, but municipal bond issuers had to buy such insurance in order to get a triple-A rating.
He said: "The bond insurance market has crashed here in the US and the options are limited. Competition is always good. We have lost some of the supply and this may be away to increase that supply.
"Until municipal issuers get a fair rating system, municipal insurance is going to be important."
Sherry Reser, media relations manager for CalSTRS, said it had not seen a proposal but as Lockyer was a member of the board, he was entitled to bring such issues to the table for discussion.
She said: "We are always willing to consider and look at opportunities and we are open to doing the best we can for our members and their families."
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