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The Geithner Put

Written by Subject: Economy - Economics USA
note: Thanks to Wendy McElroy for the initial link roundup.  I'll keep updating this list as I find more examples.

Now that the details of Geithner's toxic asset buy-up plan are known, the sharp pencils and spreadsheets are doing the math.  Since math is non-ideological, we get to see the naked truth unvarnished by ought-tos and shoulds.  Many people are presenting the accounting details, so I'll just start the link list here and give you the takeaway up front.

Bottom line: the Geithner put provides an immediate, direct transfer from the FDIC to bank shareholders.  The Treasury and the private investors risk only 7.15% of the bid price on toxic assets apiece, and the balance of the bid over the expected performance of the asset is funded by the FDIC through non-recourse loans.

This means the shareholders profit immediately, every dollar of asset performance is split between the Treasury and the private investors, and every dollar of non-performance comes directly from the taxpayers.

The Math:

  The “Geithner Put” Part I
  The “Geithner Put” Part II
Paul Krugman:
  Geithner Plan Arithmetic
Jeffrey Sachs:
  Will Geithner and Summers Succeed in Raiding the FDIC and Fed?
Karl Denninger:
  Open Letter to the FDIC
  Dark Musings
  Modeling an FDIC Robbery

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