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You World in Charts: Stress Test Aftermath Edition

Binyamin Applebaum's look at the effort by banks to repay their TARP capital comes complete with this helpful graph:


And that's all capital raised on the private market. One odd argument I stumbled upon while reporting out the PPIP story yesterday that has relevance to this chart: Part of the story behind the crash in lending earlier this year was that large investors apparently sat on their money hoping that the banks would have to unload troubled assets at fire-sale prices. They didn't want to invest in normal opportunities because they sensed the possibility of extraordinary opportunities. "I know a bunch of hedge fund people who thought these things were screaming bargains," recalls Douglas Diamond, a banking expert at the Chicago School of Business, "but would become even bigger bargains soon."

Now it looks likely that the banks that own these assets are going to try -- and might even succeed -- at holding these things to maturity. Which means that it might be the banks holding the assets, rather than the assets themselves, that are the bargain. If the market had assumed Citibank would be forced to sell its troubled assets at 30 cents on the dollar, but it's actually able to wait and sell them at 60 cents on the dollar, then Citibank was actually underpriced.

By Ezra Klein  |  June 9, 2009; 1:55 PM ET
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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