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On Thu, Nov 13, 2008 at 12:04 PM, jsx_consultant <

>   U.S. backs away from plan to buy bad assets
> Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:36pm EST
> WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration on Wednesday largely
> abandoned its plan to buy up toxic mortgage assets and said it will
> focus its $700 billion financial bailout fund on making direct
> investments in financial institutions and shoring up consumer credit
> markets.
> The U.S. Treasury Department initially promoted the financial rescue
> package approved by Congress last month as a vehicle to buy illiquid
> mortgage assets from banks and other institutions to spur fresh
> lending.
> However, that plan never got off the ground and U.S. Treasury
> Secretary Henry Paulson told a news conference asset purchases were
> not the most effective use of the funds.
> "This is not going to be the focus," he said. Paulson added,
> however, that the Treasury would continue to examine the usefulness
> of "targeted" purchases.
> Treasury has already tapped the fund to inject capital into banks
> and ailing insurer American International Group. Paulson said he was
> considering a second round of preferred share purchases in both
> banks and non-bank institutions which, in a fresh twist, would match
> privately raised funds.
> He also said the Treasury was working with the Federal Reserve on a
> plan to help restore credit flows to U.S. households by using
> financial rescue funds to lure investors back to markets for
> securitized debt, such as car loans, student loans and credit cards.
> The administration's shifting focus disappointed Wall Street and
> U.S. stock prices tumbled sharply. The Dow Jones industrial average
> closed down 408 points, or 4.7 percent.
> "This hasn't done the Treasury's credibility a world of good," said
> Alan Ruskin, chief international strategist at RBS Global Banking
> and Markets in New York. "Basically, they found that the market
> would applaud direct capital injections more readily than
> understanding the complexities of reverse auctions to buy assets, so
> it's a pragmatic choice."
> Paulson was unapologetic, saying that by the time the rescue bill
> was passed on October 3, it was clear the asset purchase plan would
> take too long and would not be sufficient to calm roiling markets.
> "I will never apologize for changing a strategy or an approach if
> the facts change," he said.
> The $700 billion financial sector bailout is the United States'
> marquee effort to combat a credit crisis spawned by rising U.S.
> mortgage defaults that is now wreaking economic damage worldwide.
> To help ease the crisis, the U.S. Treasury and bank regulators on
> Wednesday issued "guidance" for banks encouraging them to lend and
> to rein in any compensation plans that might lead executives to take
> excessive risks.
> Earlier on Wednesday, Canada announced a plan to buy up another $41
> billion in insured mortgages and other steps to try to free-up
> credit.
> Paulson said the U.S. Treasury was duty-bound to help prevent
> mortgage foreclosures, but he warned that further aid would likely
> mean a significant government subsidy, signaling a lack of support
> for a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. proposal for more aggressive
> aid to borrowers. Continued...

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