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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The PPIP and the FDIC

by Calculated Risk on 4/07/2009 09:10:00 AM

Why are the PPIP loans coming from the FDIC? Apparently to avoid asking Congress for additional funds ...

Andrew Sorkin writes in the NY Times: ‘No-Risk’ Insurance at F.D.I.C.

[The F.D.I.C. is] going to be insuring 85 percent of the debt, provided by the Treasury, that private investors will use to subsidize their acquisitions of toxic assets. The program ... is the equivalent of TARP 2.0. Only this time, Congress didn’t get a chance to vote.
The F.D.I.C. is insuring the program, called the Public-Private Investment Program, by using a special provision in its charter that allows it to take extraordinary steps when an “emergency determination by secretary of the Treasury” is made to mitigate “systemic risk.”
[H]ow much does the F.D.I.C. think it might lose?

“We project no losses,” Sheila Bair, the chairwoman, told me in an interview. Zero? Really? “Our accountants have signed off on no net losses,” she said.
Here’s the F.D.I.C.’s explanation: It says it plans to carefully vet every loan that gets made and it will receive fees and collateral in exchange. And then there’s the safety net: If it loses money from insuring those investments, it will assess the financial industry a fee to pay the agency back.
These potentially higher fees must make a few banks nervous. And if the losses really pile up, the FDIC will be bailed out, and it will be the taxpayers on the hook.