“Paulson’s Gift”

Professors Veronesi and Zingales at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business have coauthored a new research paper entitled “Paulson’s Gift” which empirically calculates the costs and benefits of the US government’s October 2008 bailout of the financial sector of the US economy.  Here’s the abstract from their paper: 

“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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