The Treasury Department said on Wednesday it received more than 100 applications to manage so-called "toxic" assets clogging up bank balance sheets.
The assets are pools of troubled residential and commercial mortgages owned by large financial institutions, including
Bank of America
Under the Public Private Investment Program, the government is offering financing to buyers and will invest alongside them. It is unclear whether banks will sell the assets, however, as doing so might require them to mark them down to lower prices than where they are currently held on their balance sheets.
Several large money managers have said publicly that they would like to participate in the program, including
, PIMCO and
Private Capital Chairman
also has publicly expressed interest.
The Treasury said in a press release it expects to inform applicants around May 15 if they have passed the initial vetting process. The PPIP has been has been criticized by many observers, including Nobel Prize winning economists Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, for offering huge potential profits to the money managers, while burdening taxpayers with most of the potential downside. It has its prominent defenders, however, including
New York University
economist Nouriel Roubini.