Lawyers Are Big Winners in Bailout

Veterans of S&L bailouts in catbird seat in current crisis
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2008 8:00 AM CST
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson speaks at a Captains of Industry Lecture Series, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2008 in New York.   (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)
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(Newser) – For a tight-knit group of former top government officials, the current financial crisis is a golden opportunity. Veterans of the savings and loan bailout of the 1990s, these operatives, now mostly lawyers and bank advisers, are doing a brisk business telling clients how to profit from the meltdown, the New York Times reports. “It is a good time to be me,” said one lawyer who helped found the Resolution Trust Corporation.

“Fortunes will be made here, no doubt about it,” said one RTC veteran, either by those buying illiquid assets at dirt-cheap prices, or simply by helping banks get a chunk of the TARP. Some operatives are even advising Henry Paulson and Barack Obama’s transition team, while simultaneously telling banks how to profit from that advice. “It is an enormous market,” says William Seidman, the ex-RTC chair who is doing just that. “I am enjoying this.”