Feds Look for Privately Funded $1T Bailout

Geithner talks up private capital ahead of today's announcement
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2009 5:37 AM CDT
Feds Look for Privately Funded $1T Bailout
President Obama's economic team: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Council of Economic Advisers Director Christina Romer and National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

The Treasury today unveils its three-part public-private plan to purchase $1 trillion in troubled assets, offering lucrative subsidies to private investors to encourage them to participate. The Obama administration spent the weekend wooing hesitant private investors—hedge funds, private equity firms, and sovereign wealth funds—who fear future regulation or AIG-like public scrutiny. "The deal is good, but it’s not worth it if I’m buying myself into a retroactive tax or a Congressional hearing," one CEO told the New York Times.

In an interview yesterday, Tim Geithner told the Wall Street Journal that only by working with the private sector can the government remove the mortgage-backed securities and other troubled assets that are perpetuating the financial crisis. "Our judgment is that the best way to get through this is if we can work with the markets," the Treasury secretary said. Stocks in Asia and Europe were up today ahead of Geithner's announcement. (Read more Obama administration stories.)

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