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Opinion: Finance Is Broke But We Ain't Fixin' It

By Lynn Tilton, CEO of Patriarch Partners

Although I am the holder of a U.S. patent on a complex financial model, I am befuddled and confused by the financially engineered structures and the thought process that defines TALF -- the Term Asset Loan Facilities program recently introduced by the Department of Treasury.

I understand and applaud the intent to replace frozen credit markets with catalytic federal loans that stimulate the use of private funds and inspire lending. TALF 1.0 is a stepping stone on the path of creative liquidity, but it carries with it a broad burden of many of the most-broken facets of this decade's securitization processes, some of which is the subject of an SEC investigation.

More important, and more urgent to the rebuilding of America, the priority TALF puts on asset classification is woefully misplaced. In its current form, TALF does not adequately address the emergency needs of the credit-starved small- and mid-sized industrial companies that are the backbone of the American economy.

In the world of turnarounds, it is essential to work from the final outcome backward, from the goal towards the reality, and to ensure the shortest distance and the most direct route between the two. In the realm of restructuring, it is important to unravel the tapestry thread by thread, and reweave leaving behind those threads that are tattered or off color. So, in keeping with this theory, if TALF had been properly financially designed, those in power would not have reengineered a securitization platform that inherited the weak DNA that has helped bring the financial system to the precipice of failure. Ironically, TALF has done exactly that.

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