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Sell! Sell! Sell!

   A lot of money changing hands out there today. You are getting some of it. Well, your government is.

- Government’s sale of Citi stock may reap profit of $7.5 billion - Associated Press/The Buffalo NewsCitigroup
   The Treasury Department said Monday that it will begin selling its stake in Citigroup at a potential profit of about $7.5 billion — not a bad haul for an 18-month investment.
   The move is a major step in the government’s effort to unravel investments that it made in banks under the $700 billion
Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, at the height of the financial crisis.
   Yet a year and a half after Congress passed the big bailout, other parts of it — particularly troubled automakers
General Motors and Chrysler and insurer American International Group — show no signs of being profitable.
   Despite the returns from
Citi and other banks, analysts and even the Treasury Department predict that the bailout will wind up costing taxpayers at least $100 billion....
  
Douglas Elliott, a fellow at Brookings Institution and former investment banker at J.P. Morgan, predicted that the government will lose about $100 billion on the overall bail-out program. That’s slightly less than Treasury’s own estimate of $117 billion. ...
   “It kept the recession from getting considerably worse,” Brookings’ Elliot said. “That’s worth whatever amount we end up losing.”
   Related:
- Fortune: TARP's last hurrah?
- The Wall Street Journal: Some TARP Beneficiaries Continue to Stumble
   Possibly related:
- Consumer confidence rebounds to 52.5 in March 
   Americans' confidence in the economy rebounded in March after a February plunge but remains relatively weak amid a tough job market, according to a private research group's monthly survey released Tuesday.
- California rebound boosts 20-city home price index
   Prices rose 0.3 percent from December to January on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index released Tuesday.
   Probably not related, but well worth reading:
- Study: Chocolate could reduce heart risk
    The Easter Bunny might lower your chances of having a heart problem. According to a new study, small doses of chocolate every day could decrease your risk of having a heart attack or stroke by nearly 40 percent.

- UAW sets up benefits fund - AP/Buffalo News
   A trust fund set up by the United Auto Workers union is hoping to raise at least $1.3 billion to help pay retiree health care costs by selling rights to an 11 percent ownership stake in Ford Motor Co.

- Evans Bancorp mulls stock sale - Jonathan D. Epstein/The Buffalo News
   Evans Bancorp said that it may issue up to $60 million in stock, debt, or other securities for investors over the next three years in its first effort to raise capital in six years.

   Of course, some things just aren't for sale. Or are they?:

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News

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