The U.S. Treasury Department worked through the weekend with Congress to craft a plan to spend as much as $700 billion to absorb bad mortgages and other assets from bank or other institution balance sheets to keep the financial system from collapsing.
The move comes close on the heels of an $85 billion Federal Reserve rescue of American International Group and the Treasury’s takeover of housing finance firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The Treasury plan, which follows a new federal guarantee for money market fund holdings, would push Washington’s potential bailout tab to $1.8 trillion.
Following are details of actions, proposals and amounts:
* Up to $700 billion to buy assets from struggling institutions. The plan is aimed at sopping up residential and commercial mortgages from financial institutions but gives Treasury broad latitude.
* Up to $50 billion from the Great Depression-era Exchange Stabilization Fund to guarantee principal in money market mutual funds to provide the same confidence that consumers have in federally insured bank deposits.
* The Fed committed to make unspecified discount window loans to financial institutions to finance the purchase of assets from money market funds to aid redemptions.
* At least $10 billion in Treasury direct purchases of mortgage-backed securities in September. In doubling the program on Friday, the Treasury said it may purchase even more in the months ahead.
* Up to $144 billion in additional MBS purchases by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Treasury announced they would increase purchases up to the newly expanded investment portfolio limits of $850 billion each. On July 30, the Fannie portfolio stood at $758.1 billion with Freddie’s at $798.2 billion.
* $85 billion loan for AIG, which would give the Federal government a 79.9 percent stake and avoid a bankruptcy filing for the embattled insurer. AIG management will be dismissed.
* At least $87 billion in repayments to JPMorgan Chase & Co for providing financing to underpin trades with units of bankrupt investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc. U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said over the weekend he was adamant that public funds not be used to rescue the firm.
* $200 billion for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Treasury will inject up to $100 billion into each institution by purchasing preferred stock to shore up their capital as needed. The deal puts the two housing finance firms under government control.
* $300 billion for the Federal Housing Administration to refinance failing mortgage into new, reduced-principal loans with a federal guarantee, passed as part of a broad housing rescue bill.
* $4 billion in grants to local communities to help them buy and repair homes abandoned due to mortgage foreclosures.
* $29 billion in financing for JPMorgan Chase’s government-brokered buyout of Bear Stearns & Co in March. The Fed agreed to take $30 billion in questionable Bear assets as collateral, making JPMorgan liable for the first $1 billion in losses, while agreeing to shoulder any further losses.
* At least $200 billion of currently outstanding loans to banks issued through the Fed’s Term Auction Facility, which was recently expanded to allow for longer loans of 84 days alongside the previous 28-day credits.
(Compiled by David Lawder, Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Gary Hill)
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