Pricing illiquid bank assets

Interfluidity has an idea:

There's another way to generate price transparency and liquidity for
all the alphabet soup assets buried on bank balance sheets that would
require no government lending or taxpayer risk-taking at all. Take all
the ABS and CDOs and whatchamahaveyous, divvy all tranches into $100
par value claims, put all extant information about the securities on a
website, give 'em a ticker symbol, and put 'em on an exchange. I know
it's out of fashion in a world ruined by hedge funds and 401-Ks and the
unbearable orthodoxy of index investing. But I have a great deal of
respect for that much maligned and nearly extinct species, the
individual investor actively managing her own account. Individual
investors screw up, but they are never too big to fail. When things go
wrong, they take their lumps and move along. And despite everything the
professionals tell you, a lot of smart and interested amateurs could
build portfolios that match or beat the managers upon whose conflicted
hands they have been persuaded to rely. Nothing generates a market
price like a sea of independent minds making thousands of small trades,
back and forth and back and forth.

Via Thomas Barker, here is an even more radical idea.


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