Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Privatize PEU Profits, Socialize the Losses

The same day a news report stated private equity underwriters (PEU's) have $200 billion in hot cash to invest, another story highlighted how those same firms need yet another tax break. Bloomberg reported:

Commercial real estate companies, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and companies partly owned by private- equity firms are pushing Congress for a temporary tax break on forgiven debt similar to relief given in 2007 to homeowners facing foreclosure.

The provision would let solvent businesses negotiate new terms with lenders, lowering the amounts they owe, without being required to pay taxes on the forgiven portions of the loans. The proposal may emerge as a priority among Republicans for inclusion in a stimulus package that President-elect Barack Obama seeks to pass with bipartisan support.

The tax break for canceled debt is being promoted on Capitol Hill by lobbyists from Oriental Trading Co., an Omaha, Nebraska, party-supply and novelty marketer partly owned by the Carlyle Group, and Las Vegas-based Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., which is partly owned by Apollo Management LP, congressional aides and lawmakers say.

What the heck? I thought $153 million in TARP money for Carlyle's Boston Private Financial Holdings was bad enough. The article went on to say:

About $270 billion of mortgages on shopping malls, apartment complexes and office buildings must be refinanced in 2009, according to Barclays Plc estimates. Commercial loan defaults will accelerate as banks and insurance companies rein in lending to manage their balance sheets and as the market for commercial mortgage-backed securities stays shut, Fitch Ratings Ltd. said in a Nov. 17 report.

Funny, that's about the amount the PEU boys have to invest. If the government caves here, corporafornication will not have ended with George Bush's exit.