What a deal! Timothy Geithner’s new plan to save the banks from themselves commits American taxpayers to a massive purchase of the toxic assets that the banks had originally insisted were risk-free investments. Of course, Wall Street loved the news.
Update: The Dow soared nearly 500 points on the news.
The New York Times:
The Obama administration formally presented the latest step in its financial rescue package on Monday, an attempt to draw private investors into partnership with a new federal entity that could eventually buy up to $1 trillion in troubled assets that are weighing down banks and clogging up the credit markets.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up sharply early Monday, gaining more than 300 points by midday. When the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, spoke on Feb. 10 of a bank rescue plan without offering much detail, investors took that as a worrying sign and the Dow fell sharply, losing 380 points.
The Treasury secretary did not deny the uncertainties inherent in the new program on Monday but defended it as a practical approach. “There is no doubt the government is taking a risk,” Mr. Geithner said, “the only question is how best to do it.”