BNP Paribas, the second biggest bank by market capitalization in the euro zone, said the subprime crisis was preventing it from calculating the value of the asset-backed securities funds and barred investors from redeeming cash from them.
"The complete evaporation of liquidity in certain market segments of the U.S. securitization market has made it impossible to value certain assets fairly, regardless of their quality or credit rating," it said.
"In order to protect the interests and ensure the equal treatment of our investors during these exceptional times, BNP Paribas Investment Partners has decided to
temporarily suspend the calculation of the net asset value as well as subscriptions/redemptions, in strict compliance with regulations, for these
funds," it added.
Translation: we took your money and invested it in ridiculous no-doc, no-down, cash-back, stated-income, inflated-appraisal mortgages. Now the market says your money is gone. But the market is stupid, and we are smart. If we just refuse to show you your account statement with a big donut on it, everything will be better next month.
Bonus related items: here's what a good hedge fund tells its investors (thanks to Lee Distad), and here's where Bushie tells Fannie and Freddie to pound sand.