Sunday, September 14, 2008

Subsidizing Barclay's in their Quest for Value

This morning's CNBC is reporting that Barclays is the leading contender to buy Lehman. Apparently, Lehman would sell its good assets to Barclays, and then a consortium of banks would put up $30B to buy the bad part of Lehman.

This deal sounds insane. Why would a bunch of competitive investment banks subsidize Barclays?

If the deal closes, it's not because the financials of the bad bank make it a great opportunity for profit. It's because the consortium have so much rot on their own books that a mark-to-market event would take them all down. So it might be worth billions for them to keep their banks open a while longer and collect their salaries and bonuses.

We'll know by 9am tomorrow.

No comments: