The end of the monoline?

The fear factor is very high and does not look like receding," says one managing director at a rating agency in New York. "Go back to the summer and people thought they had a handle on the implications of subprime only for conduits and structured investment vehicles to get into trouble. Now there is a question mark hanging over bond and mortgage insurers. The foundations of protection are rocking."

For those asleep at their Bloomberg screens for the past five months, monoline insurers guarantee t

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