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The Icelandish scheme, to put the assets and the domestic deposits in the new bank and leave all foreign deposits with the empty husk of the old, was fraudulent.

No, that's not fraudulent. That's how you resolve an insolvent bank: You take all the assets and all the depositors and put them in a new bank, and let the liabilities stay with the old bank, which then gets a 100 % equity share in the new bank. The non-depositor creditors then get to eat shit and die, because they invested their money in an insolvent institution. That's called "taking a bank into receivership." It's a perfectly ordinary process that happens every month somewhere in the OECD.

The general public is in dire need of education on Bank resolution. Refer to VoxEU
VoxEU.org is a policy portal set up by the Centre for Economic Policy Research (www.CEPR.org) in conjunction with a consortium of national sites.
In particular, Zombie solutions: The Good Bank vs Bad Bank approaches by Willem Buiter, 14 March 2009
Zombie banks need fixing. Good Bank and Bad Bank solutions are the leading contenders. This column reviews the implications for distributional, incentive, and financial stability effects. It argues that too-big-too-fail bank should immediately be taken into public ownership and restructured decisively through a mandatory debt-to-equity conversion or debt write-down. The Fed and Treasury have been captured by save-unsecured-creditors reasoning pushed by special interest groups.


The Bad Bank solution

Under the Bad Bank approach, the authorities either purchase toxic assets from the banks that made the toxic investments/loans, or they guarantee (insure) these toxic assets.

  • Toxic assets are assets whose fair value cannot be determined with any degree of accuracy.
  • Clean assets are assets whose fair value can easily be determined.

Clean assets can be good assets (assets whose fair value equal their notional or face value) or bad assets (assets whose fair value is below their notional or face value). When the authorities acquire the toxic assets outright, they establish a legal entity to manage these assets - the Bad Bank. The publicly-owned Bad Bank either sells these toxic assets as and when they cease to be toxic and a liquid market for them re-emerges, or holds them to maturity.

The Irish NAMA is a bad bank solution.
The Good Bank approach

Under the Good Bank approach, the state creates a new bank, the Good Bank, which gets the deposits and the clean assets of the old banks. The old bank gets compensation equal to the difference between the (known) value of the clean assets it loses and the value of the deposits it gives up. The state may also inject additional public capital into the Good Bank, or it may invite in additional private capital. Government financial support is given only to new lending, new investment, and new funding by the Good Bank. The legacy (ex-)bank has its banking license taken away and simply manages the existing stock of toxic assets. The legacy (ex-)bank does not get any further government support.

The good bank solution is analogous to the bankruptcy of General Motors, which led to the creation of a new solvent "General Motors Holdings" and the renaming of the old GM as "Motors Liquidation Company", an entity dedicated to liquidating the bad assets (Wikipedia).

Keynesianism is intellectually hard, as evidenced by the inability of many trained economists to get it - Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 7th, 2011 at 01:16:42 PM EST
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