Meredith Whitney's new target: The states
Today, Whitney is releasing a 600-page report, colorfully entitledWhat Whitney found reminds her of the poor disclosure and arcane
"The Tragedy of the Commons," that rates the financial condition of
America's 15 largest states, measured by their GDP. Whitney claims that
the study is the most comprehensive, in-depth analysis of the states'
murky patterns of spending, revenues and benefits programs ever
assembled by the government, foundations, or another research firm.
accounting rules that hid the fragile condition of the banks and
monoline insurers that she unmasked. "The states represent the new
systemic risk to financial markets," says Whitney. "I see a lack of
transparency and an abundance of complacency on the part of investors
and politicians, just as we saw before the banks imploded."
Meredith Whitney got famous because she identified before hand the risk in the big banks. She is worth listening to about the potholes in state finance.