PPIP Becomes Miniaturized “Mini Me”
In two of Mike Myer’s Austin Powers movies, Verne Troyer plays Dr. Evil’s miniature clone, Mini-Me. At a “breathtaking” one-eighth the size of the fully-sized villain, Mini-Me didn’t quite pack the same evil punch as his surrogate daddy, Dr. Evil. The same can be said of the government’s PPIP (Public Private Investment Program), which was originally designed to unclog the financial system by removing toxic and illiquid investments from owners desiring liquidity.
Unfortunately, the PPIP size has been reduced to ppip dimensions. The Fundamental Analyst (FA) blogger (www.fundamentalanalyst.com) points out that the program’s scope has likely shrunk to $100 billion from the original goal of $1 trilllion – a proportion even smaller than Mini-Me’s relative size to Dr. Evil. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s explanation for the decline in program size is due to the improving financial market conditions and the capital raising activities of the banks. Perhaps partially true, but “not so fast” says FA – he blames the suspension of mark-to-market accounting as the driver for positive overstated banking earnings, which allowed the banks to hoodwink investors and raise capital under false pretenses.
FA goes onto highlight what little skin the participants (including, AllianceBernstein, BlackRock, Invesco, Oaktree Capital Management, TCW Group, and Wellington Management) have in the game relative to the other 93% of capital fronted by the taxpayers. I agree – the surplus taxpayer exposure is evil. Time will tell how effective the Mini-Me ppip program will be…
Entry filed under: Banking, Financial Markets, Government. Tags: Austin Powers, Mike Myers, Mini-Me, PPIP, Public Private Investment Program, Timothy Geithner, Treasury Secretary Geithner, Verne Troyer.