Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more from Ali Velshi on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.
CNN Chief Business Correspondent
Basically the Govt has set-up a structure to allow it to partner with large private investors to buy the "toxic assets" from the banks. If it works, it will free-up up to a TRILLION dollars, which banks can then use to lend to businesses and consumers.
"What's in it for the Americans?"
These are investments in the so-called "toxic assets." These are assets (real estate, other investments based on the value of that real estate) that are expected to increase over time. These are not "bailouts" but rather, purchases of things that are "taking up space" at the banks, but could be of value to others (think about selling your old, out of style ties on ebay, to someone who'll dry clean them, put them in nice presentation boxes, and wait until the come back into style). When the joint government-private funds that bought these assets sell them, it SHOULD make money for the taxpayer.
"Is this enough?"
Estimates for how much the banks need are as high as $2 TRILLION. Critics say this money may not be enough, but others say what's more important here is that a structure has been set up that hasn't been set up before. If it works, it can be expanded.
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