The government is seeking to resuscitate the nation's crippled financial system by forging an alliance with the very outfits that most benefited from the bonanza preceding the collapse of the credit markets: hedge funds and private-equity firms.
The initiative to revive the consumer lending business, outlined by officials this week, offers these wealthy investors a new chance to make sizable profits -- but, thanks to the government, without the risk of massive losses.
The idea is to entice them to put their huge cash piles to work to stimulate the financial system. They would be invited to buy up recently issued, highly rated securities. These securities finance consumer lending, such as credit cards and student and auto loans.
The program, which could involve the government lending nearly $1 trillion to these investors, exceeds the size of every other federal effort to address the crisis so far. The initiative's approach could be the model for future federal efforts to aid the credit markets, sources familiar with government planning said. Officials call this strategy a "public-private partnership," but in essence the government is offering good deals to private investors to draw them into its rescue efforts.
I can't wait to see Paul Krugman, Mark Zandi, or Robert Reich explaining this one.
But I'm not holding my breath to see my liberal and progressive friends in the Delaware blogosphere dealing with this one.