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Auction rate arbitration may proceed: judge

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In October 2007, Allina, a not-for-profit health care system issued some auction-rate securities — a type of bond in which investors place bids that determine interest rates — as part of a $475 million bond issuance to refinance debt and to finance remodeling and renovations. UBS underwrote the auction-rate securities, but in February 2008, that market collapsed as auctions failed. Allina contended UBS and other banks tanked the market when it stopped submitting support bids to prevent auction failures. As a result, Allina incurred a host of heavy costs, which it is trying to get back by suing UBS. UBS has tried, and failed to prevent the auction rate arbitration from proceeding, and now the whole mess appears destined for a day in court.

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