Municipal bond insurers would still be thriving today if big banks hadn't defrauded the insurers.

That's what executives representing two big bond insurers told a state hearing Wednesday. They claim they were tricked by banks into wrapping toxic residential mortgage-backed securities. They said the banks now refuse to comply with contracts committing them to repurchase defective loans. Such arguments have been working through the judicial system since 2008. In recent months insurers have been seeking legislative and regulatory assistance to pressure banks into responding.

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