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Paulson's Gift

  • Pietro Veronesi
  • Luigi Zingales

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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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15458.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15458.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Publication status: published as Veronesi, Pietro & Zingales, Luigi, 2010. "Paulson's gift," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 339-368, September.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15458
Note: AP CF
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  1. 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.
  2. Gregor Andrade & Steven N. Kaplan, 1998. "How Costly is Financial (Not Economic) Distress? Evidence from Highly Leveraged Transactions that Became Distressed," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1443-1493, October.
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  4. 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.
  5. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
  6. Philippon, Thomas & Schnabl, Philipp, 2009. "Efficient Recapitalization," CEPR Discussion Papers 7516, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Hui Chen, 2010. "Macroeconomic Conditions and the Puzzles of Credit Spreads and Capital Structure," NBER Working Papers 16151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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