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Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Next Step for the U.S. Bank Bailout

by Calculated Risk on 1/17/2009 01:16:00 PM

From the WSJ: U.S. Plots New Phase in Banking Bailout

Officials at the Treasury, Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., in consultation with the incoming Obama administration, are discussing a plan to create a government bank that would buy up the bad investments and loans that are behind the huge losses that U.S. banks continue to report, say government officials. Also under consideration is an additional and giant government guarantee of banks' assets against further losses.

The discussions, which are intensifying, show how the rapid deterioration of bank assets is outpacing the government's rescue efforts. Banks are now struggling not only with the real-estate investments that sparked the crisis, but also with the car loans, credit-card debt and other consumer debt that have taken a hit with the faltering economy.
The Times is reporting an announcement could come this week:
An announcement could be made within days of Barack Obama taking office as President on Tuesday.
Also the WSJ article has a table of credit losses based on estimates from Goldman Sachs: $1.1 trillion from residential mortgages, $390 billion from corporate loans and bonds, $234 billion from commercial real estate, $226 billion from credit cards, and $133 billion from auto loans.

The $1.1 trillion for residential is in line with my estimates from Dec 2007, and the additional estimate also seem reasonable (close to $2.1 trillion total in U.S. credit losses). These losses will be shared among banks and investors worldwide, so probably less than half of the losses will be for U.S. banks. However U.S. banks will also suffer losses on overseas loans.