10.13.2007

SIVs = Enron accounting

So all the big banks are in trouble because of Enron-style off-balance sheet entities that hold a boatload of bad mortgages. Now they are getting together to try to figure out what to do about it:

The ultimate fear: If banks need to write down more assets or are forced to take assets onto their books, that could set off a broader credit crunch and hurt the economy. It could make it tough for homeowners and businesses to get loans. Efforts so far by central banks to alleviate the credit crunch that has been roiling markets since the summer haven't fully calmed investors, leading to the extraordinary move to bring together the banks.

In recent weeks, investors have grown concerned about the size of bank-affiliated funds that have invested huge sums in securities tied to shaky U.S. subprime mortgages and other assets. Citigroup, the world's biggest bank by market value, has drawn special scrutiny because it is the largest player in this market.

Citigroup has nearly $100 billion in seven affiliated structured investment vehicles, or SIVs. Globally, SIVs had $400 billion in assets as of Aug. 28, according to
Moody's.


If banks are forced to take assets onto their books? Either it's a bank asset or it's not. If it's a bank asset, it ought to be on the books in the first place.

Did the idiot regulators learn nothing from Enron? Chuck Prince ought to be sharing a cell with Andy Fastow.

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