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You Buy Mine, I’ll Buy Yours


The Financial Times reports some of the major American banks seem set to use some of the bailout money they have received and the leverage made possible by the Geithner plan to buy large amounts of toxic assets from one another—a clever manipulation of the proposed “public private investment partnership” that essentially amounts to using taxpayer resources and assurances to inflate the banks’ books by raising the prices of the assets through implicit swapping arrangements.

Francis Cianfrocca at Contentions suggests this might have been one of the scenarios Geithner’s team actually envisioned in proposing the plan. Whether it was or not, it certainly sheds a different kind of light on the risks and costs to the taxpayer the plan will involve.


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