Saturday, September 27, 2008

Invest in The New 'Treasury Turd Bonds'

Re(1): 'It's not a bailout; it's the dollar's credibility', The Skeptical Optimist, Steve Canover

Let us postulate that the government funds the purchase of the cookies with Treasuries. If our brilliant government asset managers (maybe borrow some expertise from Fannie Mae or Freddy Mac) can melt, mash, and refine the assets - separating the turds from the chocolate - than you have at least two piles of assets. The pile over here is comprised of quite tasty chocolate chip cookies. Yummy. I think I saw Barney Frank romping and chomping on that pile. But, over here, a nauseating fecal smell permeates the atmosphere. The dogs come by, sniff, and walk away. Children run gagging from that pile of ‘assets’.

However, we know the truth, eh… Nobody will be able to refine these assets into their elemental parts. How are you going to know if grandma Boomer One bought a small, almost imperceptible, turd in her cookie while grandma Boomer Two owns an untainted treat. Anyone think any politician will have the heart tell Grandma One to give her cookie back – tell her she is gobbling on a turd. Upper lip quivering and feeling her pain or something. We all know everything will be dumped at fire sale prices because the government will not be able to sniff out the turds from the chips. Our government won’t even want to get on their knees and initiate the sniff test.

Regardless, assuming our vaunted government sniffers are up to the task, now what do we do?

1. Mix it all back together to hide the power of the stench and mark it down with a known turd to chip ratio. What happens to the Turd Tainted Treasuries? This is the most likely ‘solution’. Yippie, this asset lump has a turd to chip ratio of 5%. We can make a plan or something. However, Grandpa and the Chinese and the Saudi Sheiks will want a bit more of a return to cover their potential medical bills. But, at least they know they have a 5% chance of catching cholera.

2. Keep them separate. Wait till the good assets grow in value enough to cover the cost of the turds under the tarp. All the while paying the rent on the gym where the two piles are stored (the cost of borrowing required to purchase the original pile of tainted assets). Might be a while. Then hire someone to start shoveling the turds into the toilet bowl. Don’t want this to be a SuperDome thang, eh…

Here, however is my solution!

Since the brilliant government flaks are obviously in charge – and worthy of managing a trillion dollars – they obviously have some handle on what they are buying. That is, they must have some idea of how big the pile under the tarp is in relation to the one Barney Frank has been traipsing in. Have confidence. Now, in my opinion the government should fund the ORIGINAL purchase of the asset mix via two different instruments. Something like a Ginnie Mae for the yummy cookies. And, a brand new ‘Treasury for Turds’ bond for the not so good cookies. If someone buys the ‘Treasury for Turds’ bond he/she is speculating that there will still be some chips in the mess. Probably a good bet, eh. Then get to the refining.

Here, is my offer to those who want part of the action via my personal assets:

I’ll buy the second ‘Treasury for Turds’ bond.

You buy the first.

Hopefully, the bond will have a cute design like a Disney stock certificate. Maybe a collector’s item.

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