The Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday announced final auction-rate securities settlements with Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and UBS AG that will provide $30 billion of liquidity to investors who have been stuck holding illiquid ARS since the market froze in February.

The settlements indicate the ARS saga is nearing an end as the top five auction-rate underwriters reported spending $2.19 billion on ARS buyback and liquidity programs in the third quarter, in financial statements they filed with the SEC.

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