The Feds New Plan To Buy Toxic Assets

A short while back the Fed announced a new program to buy up to $600 billion worth of mortgage backed securities. Remember, this was what the TARP was originally supposed to do. But then Paulson decided to invest money directly into the banks to recapitalize them. And then the Fed decided on its own to do basically the same thing on its own. They’ve already bought up $100 billion worth and they’ve now hired BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, PIMCO and Wellington Management Company to purchase and manage $500 billion more worth of the stuff.

Why did these four companies get the contract? That’s none of your business. The Fed just decided. Says the Fed, “The selection criteria were based on the institution’s operational capacity, size, overall experience in the MBS (mortgage-backed securities) market and a competitive fee structure.” In other words, these guys are the ones who know how to do it. But no public process, criteria or anything else.

Their purported knowledge, which I’m sure is true in a sense of technical experience, is somewhat belied by the fact that these were the firms that helped build up the mess in the first place.

And, think you get a decent commission for managing half a trillion dollars of assets? Yeah. Me too.