Saturday, March 21, 2009

Geithner's Toxic Asset Plan

by Bill McBride on 3/21/2009 05:30:00 AM

The NY Times has some details ...

From Edmund L. Andrews, Eric Dash and Graham Bowley: Toxic Asset Plan Foresees Big Subsidies for Investors

The plan to be announced next week involves three separate approaches. In one, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will set up special-purpose investment partnerships and lend about 85 percent of the money that those partnerships will need to buy up troubled assets that banks want to sell.

In the second, the Treasury will hire four or five investment management firms, matching the private money that each of the firms puts up on a dollar-for-dollar basis with government money.

In the third piece, the Treasury plans to expand lending through the Term Asset-Backed Secure Lending Facility, a joint venture with the Federal Reserve.
More approaches doesn't make a better plan.

The FDIC plan involves almost no money down. The FDIC will provide a low interest non-recourse loan up to 85% of the value of the assets.
The remaining 15 percent will come from the government and the private investors. The Treasury would put up as much as 80 percent of that, while private investors would put up as little as 20 percent of the money ... Private investors, then, would be contributing as little as 3 percent of the equity, and the government as much as 97 percent.
With almost no skin in the game, these investors can pay a higher than market price for the toxic assets (since there is little downside risk). This amounts to a direct subsidy from the taxpayers to the banks.

Oh well, I'm sure Geithner will provide details this time ...

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