Treasury Set to Unveil PPIP; Ross, GE Capital Participate
The U.S. Treasury is planning to roll out its long-awaited Public-Private Investment Program (PPIP) plan, sometime this week.
The program is likely to include as many as nine participants. CNBC has confirmed that two firms will be Wilbur Ross's Distressed Real Estate/debt fund and a joint venture between GE Capital and private investor Angelo Gordon & Co. As many as seven other firms will likely participate.
Other firms widely expect to be named include Pimco and Blackrock.
The PPIP has gone through a long gestation process, interviewing many prospective investors and scaling back its scope, which at one point was hailed as a $1 trillion endeavor. It now looks to do business worth around $50 billion.
Markets initially rallied when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced back in March, a two-pronged plan to offer government financing to lure investors into buying bad loans and toxic securities from banks.
The hurdles and stumbling blocks PPIP has encountered highlights two of the main problems the U.S. economy faces — the piles of bad debt sitting on the books of banks and the dilemma of how to price this debt. This is despite the fact that mark-to-market rules have been softened. Banks are still loathed to let go assets at fire-sale prices.
But as long as these toxic assets stay on the books, they saddle banks with losses and constrict their ability to lend. And that's where the government hopes PPIP will step in, offering enough public money to entice banks to sell.