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So What About CIT?

Posted by Larry Doyle on July 15, 2009 10:20 AM |

Still so many questions on the CIT front. As Bloomberg highlights, CIT Presses U.S. Regulators for Aid to Forestall Cash Crunch:

CIT Group Inc., the small-business lender with $1 billion in bonds maturing next month, pressed for more aid from regulators who are reluctant to use taxpayer funds for a company that may not be a risk to the financial system, people familiar with the matter said.

Treasury officials have indicated in talks that they are reluctant to deploy funds from the $700 billion bank-rescue program, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. continues to balk at debt guarantees, the people said. As of late yesterday, the Federal Reserve was considering granting permission to shift some CIT parent assets to its bank, two people said. That could boost the amount New York-based CIT could borrow from the Fed’s discount window, affording more time to restructure its debt.

The course of the talks may still change, and analysts have pointed to the potential political implications of letting a lender to thousands of borrowers at smaller businesses go bust after bailouts for some of the biggest Wall Street firms. CIT’s case underscores calls for new federal powers to allow an orderly wind-down of a bank holding company.

“CIT represents a difficult policy issue for Washington as there is sentiment to punish the fat cats and greed matched by what potential damage could be done against an economy struggling to regain momentum with all of its possible political fallout,” said Scott MacDonald, head of research at Stamford, Connecticut-based Aladdin Capital Management LLC.

Sameer Gokhale of Keefe Bruyette & Woods discusses possible outcomes on Bloomberg News:

As I questioned last week in my initial post about CIT, “Where do you draw the line?”


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