Neel Kashkari, the man who manages the Troubled Asset Relief Program, doesn’t think the government ought to try to make decisions for the banks it helps, he told lawmakers today. “However well-intended, government officials are not positioned to make better commercial decisions than lenders,” he insisted. He also painted a rosy view of the toxic asset market, Reuters reports, saying investors were ready to buy.
“We’ve received inbound unsolicited proposals from the private sector saying, ‘We have capital on the sidelines, we want to go after these assets,’” Kashkari said—but if the government didn’t step in, the prices paid would be too low. Kashkari said the Treasury’s new plan, which Secretary Timothy Geithner will detail soon, would harness those private dollars: “If private investors win, taxpayers win.”