Thursday, September 25, 2008

House Speaker Pelosi reassures market on rescue plan

From MarketWatch:
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that financial markets can rest assured that Congress will act on the White House plan to buy up to $700 billion in toxic debt. Pelosi said the exact timing of the House vote would depend on the outcome of closed-door meetings currently underway on Capitol Hill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reassured financial markets that a rescue plan would come to the House floor soon. "Please be assured that we will have a package that will speak to the issue in a very substantial way to send a message to the markets of our seriousness," Pelosi said at a press conference.
How could I be so certain in yesterday's Odds Of Government Bailout By End of Month at 80%?:
DO NOT make investment decisions based on this factoid. (that said, I think the odds are closer to 100% and should probably get a bet down on the mispricing)...
My thinking wasn't based solely on this story at Bloomberg last week:

Pelosi, Kerry May Share Pain as AIG Stakes Evaporate
The market storm that brought down Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., American International Group Inc. and other pillars of U.S. finance may have also blown holes in the portfolios of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator John Kerry and more than 50 other members of Congress.

Pelosi, in her most recent financial disclosure form, reported that her husband owned between $250,000 and $500,000 of stock in AIG, which ceded majority control to the U.S. government this week in exchange for $85 billion of loans.

Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, disclosed that his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, had more than $2 million of AIG stock at the end of 2007, when shares were worth $58.30. AIG has fallen 85 percent this week to close yesterday at $2.69. The lawmakers' aides didn't respond to calls seeking comment.

Altogether, 56 senators and representatives had stakes in AIG, Lehman, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Bear Stearns Cos. or IndyMac Bancorp Inc. -- some of the biggest casualties of the market bloodbath -- according to the Center for Responsive Politics....

No their personal losses weren't the only reason for my confidence. The cynic in me thought the Congressional leadership might be more attentive to the issue though. The real reason I thought Congress would would move was, I believe, that Secretary Paulson was able to communicate something like this:


...Had the Treasury and Fed not quickly stepped into the fray that morning with a quick $105 billion injection of liquidity, the Dow could have collapsed to the 8,300-level - a 22 percent decline! - while the clang of the opening bell was still echoing around the cavernous exchange floor.

According to traders, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, money market funds were inundated with $500 billion in sell orders prior to the opening. The total money-market capitalization was roughly $4 trillion that morning...MORE