Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Back to the future

The Enron scandal -- the first financial implosion of the Bush era -- was connected with the use of special purpose financing vehicles (SPVs). The current banking crisis began in August 2007 with the implosion of structured investment vehicles, which are basically off-balance sheet SPVs for banks. So what does the US Federal Reserve propose as their latest solution to the crisis? --

The Federal Reserve Board on Tuesday announced the creation of the Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF), a facility that will ... provide a liquidity backstop to U.S. issuers of commercial paper through a special purpose vehicle (SPV) that will purchase three-month unsecured and asset-backed commercial paper directly from eligible issuers. The Federal Reserve will provide financing to the SPV under the CPFF and will be secured by all of the assets of the SPV and, in the case of commercial paper that is not asset-backed commercial paper, by the retention of up-front fees paid by the issuers or by other forms of security acceptable to the Federal Reserve in consultation with market participants.

So rather than purchase the stuff itself, it will lend to another entity to do it and have the loans secured by the stuff that the SPV buys. The hair of the dog that bit ya.

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