Monday, March 23, 2009
Here we go again. (Sigh)
Another weekend, and another attempt by the authorities to bolster sentiment, restore confidence, and support equities. This time, it's the US bad bank plan. The authorities are so excited about this one that they made a special announcement over the weekend to tell us that...err...they are making an announcement today. Hurrah!
You can hardly blame the Federales, though. The market still bites at the holographic carrots offered up by the Fed and the Treasury; S&P futures have traded up more than 3% at one point this morning. But if this program is going to make a important contribution towards solving the crisis, it will have to be a bit better than the hints that Geithner drops in today's WSJ. Heavy on platitudes and light on details, Macro Man can see nothing there to suggest that the PPIP will be any more successful than the TALF (after a 2.35% take-up, the latter has changed its name to "That's Another Laughable Failure")
One of the problems with Congress' excise tax solution to the AIG bonus scandal is that it renders the private sector a little, ahem, nervous about going in to partnership with the government. After all, what would stop the Feds from going after the profits that firms made in the PPIP (PIMCO, Blackrock, and GS excepted, natch)?
Perhaps Geithner may wish to ask Londoners how well their version of a Public-Private Partnership has worked, both financially and service wise. (Hint: it rhymes with "not very.")
So there you have it. The US Treasury has come up with a plan similar in spirit (or at least name) to one foisted upon London by the wretched "Red Ken" Livingstone. Why does Macro Man have the feeling that after this plan is launched, equities will tank and we'll all be saying "here we go again..."?
Finally, thanks to all for the radio station recommendations. The early returns have been promising.