Donnerstag, 26. März 2009

Update: Was hat Warren Buffett mit Geithners Plan zu tun?

Ein bisschen Verschwörungstheorie schadet in der blogoshere nicht. Besonders nicht, wenn sie einen der erfolgreichsten, mächtigsten und reichsten Investoren betrifft.

James Surowiecki antwortet auf Robert Waldmans Frage "Warum Warren Buffett keine toxischen Assets kauft" und meint:
Now, using Warren Buffett’s investment decisions (or non-decisions) as the criterion for what assets are worth seems to put an awful lot of faith in one man, even if he is the world’s greatest investor. But in any case, Waldmann’s example proves, if anything, the opposite of what he’s arguing, because Buffett is, in fact, heavily invested in toxic assets, via his investments in financial stocks. As of year-end 2008, almost thirty per cent of Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio was invested in financials, and more than seventeen per cent of it was invested in Wells Fargo, a bank with heavy exposure to the subprime and California mortgage markets. That’s a pretty big bet that the mortgages banks own are not, in fact, going to turn out to be worthless. (It’s possible, of course, that Buffett is betting not on the value of the underlying assets that Wells and other banks own, but on the possibility of a government bailout, but that doesn’t seem all that likely, given that he recently said that he doesn’t think most banks need any more help from the government.)
Und Free Exchange der Economist Blog hat noch einiges an Information:
Interestingly, Sunday's big Washington Post story on the bank plan contained this piece of information:
Last fall, billionaire investor Warren E. Buffet, Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein and William H. Gross, the managing director of PIMCO, the largest bond fund in the world, approached Treasury officials about an idea to create investment funds, using public and private money, to buy toxic assets from banks, according to former senior Treasury officials.
und schließt:
So it would seem that what Warren Buffett would do is make bets on toxic assets while simultaneously working to get the government to make his bet a little more one-sided. Now this alone doesn't mean that Mr Buffett doesn't see value in mortgage-backed securities where others don't. It does suggest that Mr Buffett has more tools available than the average investor, and so a little political economy is called for when interpreting the meaning of his market moves.
Robert Waldman meint jetzt dasselbe:
One strange thing about Geithner is that he humiliating himself by saying he had a plan, then presenting nothing at the big roll out press conference. To me this made sense only if someone had decided the plan was so bad that it was better for him to be humiliated at a press conference than implement it. That means real bad. Then it came back. Plans usually come out on schedule. However, deals often fall through at the last minute. I now have this image of Geithner and Buffet furiously arguing about just how generous a put Buffet would get in exchange for buying and holding sludge and just how restricted participation in the plan would be.

The official line is that the Obama administration decided to involve private investors and then began looking for private investors to involve. Yeah right. I now think that the plan was late because negotiations take time.
Selbst wenn das nicht stimmen sollte zeigt der Geithner Plan, dass die Finanzindustrie und vielleicht sogar einige wichtige Investoren immer noch einen erheblichen Einfluss auf die Politik haben. Wie glaubwürdig in diesem Fall eine - im Falle von Demokratien notwendigerweise - diskretionäre Wirtschaftspolitik die die Krise überwinden möchte sein kann, sei dahingestellt.

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