Oddly, I saw this comparatively late (about an hour), and no notice Bloomberg, which is perfectly willing to pick up news reports by competitors with attribution, and Asian markets ex Japan (closed today) were still in negative territory, although slightly less so.
Note key element of the deal is that the Federal government will guarantee $300 billion of Citi assets, a much bigger number than had been leaked earlier, with a rather convoluted loss-sharing arrangement, but the bottom line is that Citi is at risk for at most $40 billion. Citi also gets a $20 billion equity injection, on slightly more onerous terms than the initial TARP investments, but still more favorable than Warren Buffett’s investment in Goldman. Oh, and it appears there will be NO management changes.
I do not see how GM can be denied a rescue now (not that that outcome is really in doubt, merely how much pain will be inflicted on management and the UAW).
This seems to validate the theory advanced by John Hempton, and dismissed by some as a “conspiracy theory.” From an earlier post, citing Hempton:
John Hempton has suggested that the reason Shiela Bair pushed the deal with Citi, despite it being worse for the taxpayer that the one offered by the successful bidder, Wells Fargo, was that it would have provided a route for a back-door bailout:
Sheila Bair – as readers will remember – forced Wachovia to sell itself in three days whilst other parties had not had anything like enough time to complete due diligence. She – unilaterally and incorrectly – told the world that this deal could not be done without government assistance. She unilaterally decided to issue a guarantee that on a pool of $312 billion of Wachovia assets Citigroup could not lose more than $42 billion. She made that decision even though Wells Fargo was telling her that all they required was more time to do due diligence.
Given that Wells Fargo was willing to acquire Wachovia at no-cost to taxpayers that looks like a very bad decision indeed. But this is the post assuming that Sheila Bair is smarter than all of us.
And so we need to understand the significance of that guarantee. The significance is as follows: Once Citi owns $312 billion in assets on which they can only lose $42 billion the remaining pool must be worth $270 billion. That $270 billion is guaranteed by the US Government – as the FDIC is a full faith and credit organisation. Citigroup can put that $270 billion (plus the $42 billion in non-guaranteed assets) in a pool and repo it – and as Treasuries yield very little they will wind up paying well under a percent of interest. The Sheila Bair decision was equivalent to a cash injection into Citigroup of 270 billion because the repo-market will turn government guaranteed loans into cash.
That cash injection is almost 40 percent of the size of the whole bailout package and it was given to Citigroup by Sheila Bair without congressional oversight. We got all stroppy at giving Paulson that sort of unilateral powers – but – hey – we are prepared to forget that Sheila Bair already has them.
Yves again. The cash that Citi would have gotten via a Wachovia deal, $270 billion, is perilously close to what it can reap under the new deal. Citi can now repo its guaranteed assets.
From the Journal:
The federal government agreed Sunday to take unprecedented steps to stabilize Citigroup Inc. by moving to guarantee close to $300 billion in troubled assets weighing on the bank’s books, according to people familiar with details of the plan.
Treasury has agreed to inject an additional $20 billion in capital into Citigroup under terms of the deal hashed out between the bank, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Treasury officials will charge a higher interest rate for the capital injection — 8% for the first few years — than it has charged to dozens of other banks now borrowing money under the government’s the $700 billion rescue package approved by Congress last month.
In addition to the capital, Citigroup will have an extremely unusual arrangement in which the government agrees to backstop a roughly $300 billion pool of its assets, containing mortgage-backed securities among other things. Citigroup must absorb the first $37 billion to $40 billion in losses from these assets. If losses extend beyond that level, Treasury will absorb the next $5 billion in losses, followed by the FDIC taking on the next $10 billion in losses. Any losses on these assets beyond that level would be taken by the Fed.
Citigroup would also agree to work to modify — if possible — troubled mortgages held in the $300 billion pool, using standards created by the FDIC after the collapse of IndyMac Bank.
The government is not expected to require any management changes, as that was seen as potentially being too destabilizing…
The government also is considering injecting more capital into Citigroup, according to a person familiar with the government’s plans….
It was unclear Sunday night whether the government would take an additional equity stake in Citigroup in return for the support. Citigroup previously agreed to issue the government preferred shares in return for the $25 billion the bank received as one of the first nine companies to get capital infusions.
Treasury and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will provide protection against the possibility of unusually large losses on an asset pool of approximately $306 billion of loans and securities backed by residential and commercial real estate and other such assets, which will remain on Citigroup’s balance sheet. As a fee for this arrangement, Citigroup will issue preferred shares to the Treasury and FDIC. In addition and if necessary, the Federal Reserve stands ready to backstop residual risk in the asset pool through a non-recourse loan.
In addition, Treasury will invest $20 billion in Citigroup from the Troubled Asset Relief Program in exchange for preferred stock with an 8% dividend to the Treasury. Citigroup will comply with enhanced executive compensation restrictions and implement the FDIC’s mortgage modification program.
Some key points form the term sheet that have not gotten much comment:
Term of Guarantee:
FDIC standard loss-sharing protocol: Guarantee is in place for 10 years for residential assets, 5 years for non-residential assets.
Institution absorbs all losses in portfolio up to $29 bn (in addition to existing reserves)
Any losses in portfolio in excess of that amount are shared USG (90%) and institution (10%).
USG share will be allocated as follows:
UST (via TARP) second loss up to $5 bn;
FDIC takes the third loss up to $10 bn;
Federal Reserve funds remaining pool of assets with a non-recourse loan, subject to the institution’s 10% loss sharing, at a floating rate of OIS plus 300bp. Interest payments are with recourse to the institution.
Fee for Guarantee –
Institution will issue $7 bn of preferred stock with an 8% dividend rate
(under terms described below). $4 bn of preferred will be issued to UST, $3 bn will be issued to the FDIC. ….
Institution is prohibited from paying common stock dividends, in excess of $.01 per share per quarter, for 3 years without UST/FDIC/FRB consent. A factor taken into account for consideration of the USG’s consent is the ability to complete a common stock offering of appropriate size.