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Buy High, Sell Low? Determining the Right Price for TARP Warrant Buybacks

Another week, another banking controversy. Now that some banks are starting to exit from the TARP program, questions are emerging about the prices of repayments, including the repurchase of stock warrants.

Another week, another banking controversy. Now that some banks are starting to exit from the TARP program, questions are emerging about the prices of repayments, including the repurchase of stock warrants.Are the prices too low, or is this smart business for both the government and the banks? Should the prices be set by the Treasury Department (as has happened so far), or is this something that should/could be left to the market, possibly through some sort of auction?

In this interview with CNBC, Elizabeth Warren, chairman of the Congressional Oversight Panel, emphasizes that regardless of the pricing strategy, the key consideration has to be transparency. As to how the returns on the repurchases should be spent, Warren said: "My job is to make sure that the taxpayer is getting the maximum rate of return, the most dollars for the warrants in the repurchase. How government spends the money is a whole question that is bigger than I am."

Check out the whole video here:

Katherine Burger is Editorial Director of Bank Systems & Technology and Insurance & Technology, members of UBM TechWeb's InformationWeek Financial Services. She assumed leadership of Bank Systems & Technology in 2003 and of Insurance & Technology in 1991. In addition to ... View Full Bio

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