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Rating:Gross & Others Accuse Whitney of Making an 'Outlandish' Muni-Bond Forecast

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Gross & Others Accuse Whitney of Making an 'Outlandish' Muni-Bond Forecast

News summary by MFWire's editors

Fundsters looking for some clarity in the muni-bond market may want to check out a Bloomberg report. Several star mutual fund PMs are publicly attacking another investing celebrity over the future of the muni-bond market.

The wire service interviewed Lyle Fitterer, who runs the $2.3 billion Wells Fargo Advantage Municipal Bond Fund, who sides with Bill Gross and against bank anlayst Meredith Whitney in arguing that there will not be a massive amount of defaults in the market this year.

Whitney, the bank analyst who correctly predicted Citigroup Inc.'s dividend cut in 2008, in December reportedly forecast 50 to 100 “significant” municipal-bond defaults this year totaling “hundreds of billions” of dollars.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television's “InBusiness”, Pimco star Gross said he doesn't subscribe to the theory that there will be lots of them. For his part, Fitterer told the trade pub that “I am not saying there won't be defaults. But I have a hard time getting to $10 billion, let alone $50 or $100 billion.”

Thomas Metzold, co-director of municipal investments at Boston-based Eaton Vance Corp., also chimed in, reportedly calling Whitney's predictions “outlandish and outrageous.”
For her part, Whitney seemingly didn't want any part of the debate with the industry heavyweights and didn't respond to phone and e-mail messages from the pub. 

Edited by: Hung Tran

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