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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Fed Provides More Details on Bear Stearns Portfolio

by Calculated Risk on 4/03/2008 10:38:00 AM

From the NY Fed: Portfolio Overview

Following is an overview of the portfolio supporting the loan to be extended by the Federal Reserve in connection with the proposed acquisition of Bear Stearns by JPMorgan Chase.

The $29 billion credit extension is supported by assets that were valued at $30 billion by Bear Stearns, which valued the assets at market value on March 14. JPMorgan Chase will extend a subordinated loan for $1 billion that will absorb losses, if any, on the sale of these assets before the Federal Reserve.

The portfolio supporting the credit extensions consists largely of mortgage related assets. In particular, it includes cash assets as well as related hedges.

The cash assets consist of investment grade securities (i.e. securities rated BBB- or higher by at least one of the three principal credit rating agencies and no lower than that by the others) and residential or commercial mortgage loans classified as “performing”. All of the assets are current as to principal and interest (as of March 14, 2008). All securities are domiciled and issued in the U.S. and denominated in U.S. dollars.

The portfolio consists of collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs), the majority of which are obligations of government-sponsored entities (GSEs), such as the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”), as well as asset-backed securities, adjustable-rate mortgages, commercial mortgage-backed securities, non-GSE CMOs, collateralized bond obligations, and various other loan obligations.

The assets were reviewed by the Federal Reserve and its advisor, BlackRock Financial Management. The assets were not individually selected by JPMorgan Chase or Bear Stearns.

The Federal Reserve would be required by GAAP to report the valuation of the portfolio on an annual basis. We will report the valuation and recoveries from liquidation of the portfolio on a quarterly basis, subject to annual review by our outside auditors Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.

The Federal Reserve will make arrangements with the appropriate Committee staffs to allow review of the list of assets on a confidential basis that permits appropriate Congressional oversight of the Federal Reserve's actions while also protecting the ability of the Federal Reserve to minimize risk of loss and danger to markets and preserve privacy and other confidentiality concerns.