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Paulson's Gift

  • Veronesi, Pietro
  • Zingales, Luigi

We calculate the costs and benefits of the largest ever U.S. Government intervention in the financial sector announced the 2008 Columbus-day weekend. We estimate that this intervention increased the value of banks’ financial claims by $131 billion at a taxpayers’cost of $25 -$47 billions with a net benefit between $84bn and $107bn. By looking at the limited cross section we infer that this net benefit arises from a reduction in the probability of bankruptcy, which we estimate would destroy 22% of the enterprise value. The big winners of the plan were the three former investment banks and Citigroup, while the loser was JP Morgan.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7528.

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Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7528
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  1. Hui Chen, 2010. "Macroeconomic Conditions and the Puzzles of Credit Spreads and Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(6), pages 2171-2212, December.
  2. Philippon, Thomas & Schnabl, Philipp, 2009. "Efficient Recapitalization," CEPR Discussion Papers 7516, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Swagel, Phillip, 2009. "The financial crisis: an inside view," MPRA Paper 21104, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Gregor Andrade & Steven N. Kaplan, 1997. "How Costly is Financial (not Economic) Distress? Evidence from Highly Leveraged Transactions that Became Distressed," NBER Working Papers 6145, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Merton, Robert C., 1973. "On the pricing of corporate debt: the risk structure of interest rates," Working papers 684-73., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  6. Ballard, Charles L & Shoven, John B & Whalley, John, 1985. "General Equilibrium Computations of the Marginal Welfare Costs of Taxes in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 128-38, March.
  7. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
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