Has Geithner Rescued America?


It looks like Tim Geithner has gone from zero to hero in a flash. Think back to last week at this time -- the Treasury Secretary was being bombarded with criticism.

It was only March 19th when Geithner appeared on CNN partly to deflect calls for his resignation. As you might remember he said, “I think it comes with the job.”(Click here to read CNBC’s coverage of that interview)

But what a job he’s done!

On Monday of this week he completely changed the game when he introduced the Public-Private Investment Program or PPIP which entices private investors to purchase toxic assets by offering public or government incentives such as low-cost government financing and guarantees.

The idea is remove the assets that are weighing on banks' balance sheets and – as a result -- hampering banks' ability to resume more normal lending to consumers and businesses.

When the market first heard the plan it shot higher as you can see from the chart. And in the days that followed it's continued to receive big cheers from investors. “The market likes what they hear," says Kevin Kruszenski, head of listed trading for KeyBanc Capital Markets.

And it appears Geither has won over skeptics. “This plan has a good chance of success; certainly much better than the plan Treasury put forward six weeks ago," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com.

Zandi likes that the Geithner plan will establish some market based pricing for toxic assets, something that’s been sorely missing. “We’ll get bids up, and asking prices down,” he tells the Fast Money traders.

And he says only a handful of private investors need to participate in this plan in order for it to work. “It gives the government a great deal of potential for buying lots assets with just a little bit of help from private investors.”

But don’t expect results overnight. Not until the end of the year will the plan be working well and then "by next summer we should really see credit start flowing again.”

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Trader disclosure: On Mar. 25th, 2009, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Adami Owns (AGU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE), (BTU); Macke Owns (AAPL), (POT), (WMT), (MOS), (GE), (SDS); Macke Is Short (BRK.b); Seymour Owns (AAPL), (BAC), (FXI), (TTM), (AUO), (WBD); Najarian Owns (C) Call Spread;Najarian Owns (AGN) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (AAPL) Call Spread: Najarian Owns (BX) Call Spread: Najarian Owns (GD) Call Spread: Najarian Owns (MS) Call Spread: Najarian Owns (PALM) Calls; Najarian Owns (RHT) Calls; Najarian Owns (XHB) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (SWY) Calls; Najarian Owns (XLI); Najarian Owns (STX) Calls; Najarian Owns (WDC) Call Spread

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