Vulture Investors Making Plans to Snag Weak Banks on the Cheap

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Vulture Investors Making Plans to Snag Weak Banks on the Cheap

Even before the ink dries on a proposed $700 billion bailout for the financial industry, Wall Street players have begun jockeying to be the first ones to snap up distressed investments on the cheap.

As they try to make sense of how a government bailout would play, vulture investors are combing through balance sheets of possible targets that could run into trouble if banks start calling back loans to businesses and the economy worsens.

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**Big Financiers Start Lobbying for Wider Aid **

Even as policy makers worked on details of a $700 billion bailout of the financial industry, Wall Street began looking for ways to profit from it.
Financial firms were lobbying to have all manner of troubled investments covered, not just those related to mortgages.

At the same time, investment firms were jockeying to oversee all the assets that Treasury plans to take off the books of financial institutions, a role that could earn them hundreds of millions of dollars a year in fees.
Nobody wants to be left out of Treasury’s proposal to buy up bad assets of financial institutions.

“The definition of Financial Institution should be as broad as possible,” the Financial Services Roundtable, which represents big financial services companies, wrote in an e-mail message to members on Sunday.

The group said a wide variety of institutions as varied as mortgage lenders and insurance companies should be able to take advantage of the bailout, and that these companies should be able to sell off any investments linked to mortgages.

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