Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
Was this discussed earlier in the Salon?

FT.com / Companies / Banks - Bailed-out banks eye toxic asset buys (April 2 2009)

US banks that have received government aid, including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase, are considering buying toxic assets to be sold by rivals under the Treasury's $1,000bn (£680bn) plan to revive the financial system.

The plans proved controversial, with critics charging that the government's public-private partnership - which provide generous loans to investors - are intended to help banks sell, rather than acquire, troubled securities and loans.

Spencer Bachus, the top Republican on the House financial services committee, vowed after being told of the plans by the FT to introduce legislation to stop financial institutions "gaming the system to reap taxpayer-subsidised windfalls".



Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 05:23:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Geithner's Plan: Loopholes Galore - BusinessWeek
PORTFOLIO SWAPPING

For all the talk of toxic assets, some banks may want to hold on to their suspect loans in the belief that they will eventually pay off. The Treasury and the Fed, however, are breathing down the banks' necks to unload problem debts.

What to do? A bank could effectively swap its existing portfolio of junky loans for another one very similar--only this time limiting the downside by using government loans and guarantees. The bank would auction off its loans to a public-private partnership. Then, using a portion of the auction proceeds, it would set up a different public-private partnership that would of course have access to government loan guarantees and matching funds. The bank would use the new partnership to buy a portfolio of similar problem assets twice the size of its old portfolio. The bank would then split any gains from the new portfolio 50-50 with the feds--but risk no more than the sliver of equity it contributed to the deal. The Administration may seek to block such maneuvers.



"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 05:30:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Melanchthon:
The Administration may seek to block such maneuvers.
Good luck with that.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 05:59:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't that very possibility in fact the goal of Giethner's plan?  ALL LIABILITY TO THE TAXPAYER!

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 01:00:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama may not know diddley squat about economics, but he's a decent lawyer. Can he not understand on a legal basis the petard Geithner is hoisting him on?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 04:04:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One would think....Perhaps he fears that a politically premature move would doom his administration and give the country eight more years of Republicans.  While I don't want that, it might not make too much difference if political opportunity comes too late for the economy.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 12:17:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Naked Capitalism: Treasury Trying to Defend Bank Gaming of Public-Private Partnership
1. Despite bank and Administration smoke-blowing to the contrary, the problem with the so-called toxic assets on bank balance sheets is NOT that they cannot be priced, but that banks do not like the prices on offer from willing buyers. We have read anecdotes suggesting that the gap is as big as bank valuation 90-95 cents on the dollar versus market prices of 30 cents, but the typical example is bank holding price of 80 cents versus market of 30 cents.

So let us repeat, the purpose of this program is NOT price discovery, and any claim along those lines is a lie. The purpose is to keep the banks from recognizing losses that already exist, by reversing them via unloading the paper at a fictitious high price and dumping the loss on the taxpayer.


"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 05:35:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Mark-to-Market Myth « The Baseline Scenario
Here's a thought. What if the function of these rule changes is to make it easier for banks to ignore the results of the PPIP auctions? For example, Bank A puts up a pool of loans for auction, but doesn't like the winning bid and rejects it; Bank A doesn't want to be forced to write down its loans to the amount of the winning bid. Or, alternatively, Bank B sells a security to a buyer, and Bank A holds the same security; Bank A doesn't want to be forced to write down the security to the price of Bank B's transaction.

The change to fair value accounting (Rule 157) may make it easier to claim that the sale by Bank B was a "distressed sale," meaning it can ignore it for valuation purposes.



"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 11:03:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Occasional Series