links for 2009-04-25
Pushpin as Good as Poetry?

How Much Are TARP Assets Worth?

Jon Faust has a nice piece at Real Time Ecinomics pushing back against the claim that TARP assets are "worth" only two-thirds of what the government paid for them. The government is patient capital without much relative exposure to these financial market risks. Yet the valuation formulas assume that the government is like other market participants--very short-term and highly risk averse.

In most scenarios going forward the government makes money on it's TARP assets. In those in which it doesn't because asset markets stay this depressed, we don't much care that it loses money: we have other, worse things to worry about.