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Archive for the ‘Toxic Assets’ Category

A while back I blogged about NPR’s pet toxic asset that they bought to learn about its life and death. Now an update: their poor asset, a Countrywide MBS named Toxie, is almost dead (waaay too cute name voted by NPR readers, narrowly chosen over the excellent Kenny leading me to believe that too few NPR readers have any knowledge of early South Park). Toxie started life worth, $75,000. NPR purchased it for $1000 in January 2010. And for the $1000 NPR is projecting it will get about $450-$500.

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To understand more about a  deadly bacteria, a researcher would try to isolate it in the lab, study it, dissect it, sequence its genome, etc.  The folks at NPR who have been covering the financial crisis wanted to learn more about toxic assets, so they took a similar tack. They bought one and have been studying it, dissecting it, and sequencing its genome. Their ongoing work nicely illustrates what a canonical toxic asset is. (They went very toxic, paying $1,000 for a mortgage-backed security of Countrywide mortgages!)

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