Wednesday, June 3, 2009

PPIP Deathwatch, June 3 Edition

There's a saying: If they're going to run you out of town, get out in front and make it look like a parade.

Well, Timothy Geithner by now must be reading the handwriting on the wall. The major banks don't like his public-private partnership plan to buy their lousy assets through auctions. They ain't gonna play. Putting their assets up for sale for anything resembling market value would expose the parlous state of their books. And Geithner knows he has a weak hand: he doesn't want to push the big banks into doing anything they don't want to; he's not an auto industry regulator after all.

So Geithner begins to slowly back away from PPIP, talking about it in a sort of detached way:
"As confidence has improved a little bit, we may see less interest -- both on the selling side and the buying side," Geithner said. "It's hard to tell, though, how much interest you're going to see. There's still some concerns, too, about the rules of the game."