Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Cosmetic but effective in the short term

Just like these council workers taking down fly posters only for them to reappear in a few days, so banks are getting ABS off balance sheet by offering to finance them. The FT reports one such set of tricks here and Naked Capitalism has a discussion of Lehman's deleverage using related shenanigans here. The bottom line is obvious: if you can't sell something but you need to look as if it is gone, find somewhere to park it, pay the parking fee and transfer any risk you can get rid of, and hope that when or if the asset comes back, it is worth more.

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