First Draft: toxic central
It’s all about toxic assets today.
The Obama administration has come up with a plan to deal with those loans that are so underwater you need a deep-sea diving outfit to find them (kind of like my NCAA bracket, but that’s another sad story).
The plan is for the government to partner with the private sector — including hedge funds (remember their role in bringing the markets down?) — and provide an antidote for the toxicity of the bad loans.
Christina Romer, a White House economic adviser, in her explanation of the program managed to mix a sports metaphor with a coin toss (again we’re back to the NCAA bracket).
“This is really tails both the government and the private sector win, heads both the government and the private sector lose,” Romer said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” show. “We both are going to have, as the saying goes, skin in the game.”
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner gets a chance to comfort jittery financial markets by providing details of the plan this morning. Let’s see if his performance improves over last time, when he layed out an outline and the markets tumbled.
And then again there’s always the birthday cake analogy. “It’s kind of like a horrible birthday cake with fire, the candles are burning all over it, we’re trying to blow out the candles in every direction,” Austan Goolsbee, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers told Reuters Financial Television.
Photo credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (Geithner at White House event earlier this month), Reuters/stringer Shanghai (panda eats birthday cake at zoo in China)