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States Are Poised to Be Next Credit Crisis for US: Whitney
CNBC.com | September 28, 2010 | 03:52 PM EDT

Crippling debts and deficits are about to make individual states the next casualty of the credit crisis, analyst Meredith Whitney told CNBC.

Speaking as her firm, Meredith Whitney Advisory Group, just released a lengthy report on the state of the states, the noted financial analyst compared the looming explosion to the collapse of the financial system in 2008 and 2009.

"The similarities between the states and the banks are extreme to the extent that states have been spending dramatically and are leveraged dramatically," she said. "Municipal debt has doubled since 2000, spending has grown way faster than revenues."

Whitney also offered another warning about banks, saying a sharp dropoff in trading revenue and a double-dip in housing would hammer at fourth-quarter earnings.

But she reserved her harshest words for the states. She said the paper released Tuesday was the culmination of two years' work by her firm and was made even more difficult by the lack of reliable data on state spending and debt.

"It reminded me so much of the banks pre-crisis that we just kept working at it," she said. "We couldn't find anything that gave us a clear story, we couldn't find any information that was transparent. So we did it ourselves."

There were some bright spots: Texas, Virginia and Nebraska were among states that have done a good job of controlling their finances over the years and aren't threatened as much.

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