WASHINGTON - Two days before a House Financial Services Committee capital markets hearing on bond insurers, a panel that included hedge fund managers who are betting against the insurers offered less than encouraging observations about financial guarantors yesterday.

Amid insurers' enormous mark-to-market losses and rating downgrades, Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski, D-Pa., chairman of the House Financial Service capital markets subcommittee, announced last month that he has launched an inquiry into their industry and asked federal and state regulators for information, including whether statutory reforms are needed.

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