DALLAS - Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy, the pending acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co., and financial turmoil at AIG created a swirl of uncertainty around $4 billion of prepaid gas bonds amid a series of rating actions.

Most severely affected were bonds used to finance a $709 million prepaid gas contract under the authority of Main Street Natural Gas Inc. The bankruptcy of the commodity provider in the deal - Lehman Brothers - leaves the bonds on the verge of default.

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