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The Details: How Treasury Overpaid the Banks

POSTED: 12:02 PM ET, 02/ 6/2009 by Derek Kravitz

Congressional overseers today released their full report (see below) on how Treasury paid too much for stocks and assets of financially troubled banks. The overpayment under the Troubled Asset Relief Program last year came to about $78 billion, according to the Congressional Oversight Panel.

The government put $254 billion into the companies but the preferred stock it got in return had a market value at the time of only $176 billion. The study examined the government's10 biggest deals in 2008 using a valuation study by Duff & Phelps, a New York-based financial advisory firm.

(Another way to look at it -- the government overpaid by about 44.3 percent. If you paid $3 for a hot dog, it would be as if you found later that the same dog was worth only $1.67.)

Still, the Treasury "may have had valid policy reasons for making these transactions, and that it is possible that the value of the investments may eventually be worth more than the amount Treasury paid -- or they may be worth much less," the panel noted.

The two main findings from the report:

  • In the eight transactions which were made under the investment program banks, for each $100 spent, Treasury received assets worth approximately $78.
  • In the two transactions which were made under programs for riskier banks, $100 spent, the Treasury received assets worth approximately $41.

Other investors did better than the Treasury. A valuation of other transactions that occurred around the same time as the government bailout:

  • For each $100 Berkshire Hathaway invested in Goldman Sachs, it received securities with a fair market value of $110.
  • For each $100 Qatar Holding and Abu Dhabi invested in Barclays, they received securities with a fair market value of $123.
  • For each $100 Mitsubishi invested in Morgan Stanley, it received securities with a fair market value of $102.

Download This Document | More Investigations Documents

By Derek Kravitz |  February 6, 2009; 12:02 PM ET Hot Documents
Previous: Treasury Overpaid for Bank Assets, Obama's Tax Woes, CIA Pick Vows to End Disputed Tactics | Next: SEC Moves to Take 'Handcuffs Off' Regulators


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