DALLAS - Faced with a diminished market for its variable-rate debt due to lower credit ratings for its liquidity provider, Houston found a rescuer right in its own backyard recently as surrounding Harris County acquired $118 million of bonds that had reset at perilously high rates.

Harris County is earning $682,000 per month in interest on Houston water and sewer refunding bonds that were backed by a standby purchase agreement from Dexia Credit Local.

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