The U.S. Treasury this week unveiled its trillion dollar plan to help financial institutions cleanse their books of "toxic" mortgage-backed securities by offering money for buyers to take them off the banks' hands. But money is only part of the story. In order to sweeten the pot of assets that have gone to pot, further incentivize potential buyers, and cover up that yucky snake oil smell, the assets are being repackaged, rebranded and a third word that starts with "re" into a whole new range of financial products. I'll buy that for half a cent on the dollar...
Baby Back Securities
Melt in your mouth, not on your balance sheet*. These choice, succulent, tainted assets are smothered in Tim Geithner's own secret recipe sauce (just watch it trickle down!) then slow-grilled to perfection, or at least until the recession is over and everybody can all get back to what they were doing before.
*May melt on your balance sheet.
Your portfolio will be surrounded by barbed wire, placed under that choppy and grainy video surveillance where you can only sort of make out what's going on and monitored 24/7 by a team of burly men in uniform who could almost be cops until you get closer, realize, then run back to retrieve that "horticultural sample" from the trashcan you just ditched it in. There's also a guard dog, too. Probably.
The Posturepedic Fund
Takes your assets and puts them under a really big mattress. Got a better idea?
Pigs will eat anything. Remember that Guy Ritchie film where the bad guy, Blocktop or Brickhead or something, kept a pen of pigs just to eat the bodies of the guys he had killed - bones, hair and everything? That was a good film. He definitely jumped the shark when he married Madonna. Also, I'd like to see a pig fighting a chimp. That would be awesome.
Financial perfection made flesh, your FBF will neither appreciate nor depreciate, as these are just elitist terms for evolution. You must commit your whole financial being to your FBF without hope of dividend (in this life.) You may also be asked to fight occasional wars against other funds, which you will henceforth refer to as HFBF's, or Heathen Faith-Based Funds. Definitely comes with its sacrifices, but worth getting just for the bitchin' cool logo of Allan Greenspan riding a dinosaur.
They'll never know the difference.
Deus Ex Machina Fund
Assets' values decline and decline until you think they can't decline any more, but then that nattering nabob of neoliberalism Paul Krugman writes another Times Op-Ed piece about how this is only the tip of the recessional iceberg and then whaddaya know? The buggers decline even more. Then it's just decline, decline, decline, yada, yada, yada...until... suddenly... Midst roar of thunder and flash of lightening, a mighty carriage doth descend from heaven's canopy, bearing within the very face and form - and bailout cash - of the godhead incarnate. Wait, didn't that already happen?