Marketplace Scratch Pad

The Enron Death Star returns

Scott Jagow Apr 6, 2009

Friday we discussed how banks were considering buying toxic assets from each other as part of the Treasury’s public-private investment plan. Marketplace PM also did a story on it. By way of follow up, I found a great column that compares this to Enron energy trading.

From the blog Rortybomb, written by a “financial engineer” named Mike:

My friend was very excited telling me all the strategies Enron deployed – “Forney Perpetual Loop”, “Ricochet”, “Ping Pong”, “Black Widow”, “Red Congo”, “Get Shorty”, the whole works – and how all of them will be reliable guides for gaming the legacy asset market here. Buy assets high, write them down, then pay back with “fees.” Got it. Create SIV to bid up the profits. Brilliant.

Nice work, Treasury Department!

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