March 22, 2008

Pretty Good Deal

Picture this:

You are offered a chunk of Manhattan real estate, complete with building, for $240 million. In fact, you get all sorts of property valued at well over $600 million.

Without going into any more detail than that, would you do it? Lordy, yes!

The down side is that you also get Bear Stearns, with the caveat that you must honour the debt load it has acquired: over $380 billion, as of December of last year.

But you'll also get a company that had net tangible assets (not profit, exactly, but what you'd get if you sold everything off) of $11 billion for 2007.

Down side is that that's for the end of 2007; and gains in other areas helped offset the write-down of $1.9 billion in mortgage-related equity. Then things kinda went downhill after that.

Up side - the U.S. Fed really, really wants you to do this, so is giving you $30 billion to tide those debts over until those shares you paid $2 apiece for came back up to a point where they can draw investors again. (Current Price: almost six bucks. Not a bad little profit!) Heck, the city of New Orleans only got a third of that, until they figured out how little in a city actually floats. And there were/still are a few million people affected by the end results of Hurricane Katrina. Not to say that the money was well spent, but that's not important now: those, after all, were just people. What's really important are marketing and investment firms. Oh, and banks.

So the money and political will to help is there (somehow). Why not take advantage of it?

(H/T to Declan)


posted by Thursday at 11:39 pm


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