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Market Still Wary on PPIP

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By: Riley McDermid | July 30, 2009

Market players who responded positively to the government's original Troubled Asset Relief Program are much less convinced of the efficacy of their recent Public-Private Investment Plan, which is still in its “infancy,” Espen Robak, president of Pluris Valuation Advisors, told Markets Media Friday.

“The TARP's Capital Purchase Program has been a success in the sense that banks look financially healthier,” said Robak. “As far as I know, the PPIP is in its infancy and much more questionable.”

He added that while credit markets have been slowly unfreezing over the last two months, TARP has been particularly helpful at unlocking the markets, where investors are looking to snap up bargain basement deals on distressed assets.

“We have seen a similar trend in the secondary markets to somewhat tighter discounts for certain assets that were primarily impaired due to lack of liquidity, but were otherwise in pretty good shape in terms of creditworthiness,” said Robak.

"To the extent that TARP has provided a greater sense of stability as banks have been shored up and today look much less wobbly, that may have helped,” he added.

Robak said that TARP, for the most part, had done a good job at restoring calm to spooked markets and in that sense had been quite successful at tempting skittish investors back into the market. Subsequent emergency lending programs will still need more time to be assessed for their efficacy, however, as market player move into the next, “post-emergency” phase.

“The TARP CPP investments were likely very necessary and well-timed, as there was considerable fear at the time that we would have widespread bank failures, and more than the system could handle,” said Robak. “Now that this is less of an emergency, the focus has shifted towards repayment.”