The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) is dusting off yet another tactic originated during the savings and loan crisis for dealing with its current failure load.
The agency announced Friday that it had sold $1.8 billion in bonds supported by MBS on the balance sheets of seven failed banks.
Though the more than 70 investors participating in the deal acquired no actual assets from the failed banks, they now hold FDIC-guaranteed notes that the agency can repay from income on the underlying assets.
The agency said it was the first such bond sale since the early '90s, and the first ever involving FDIC-guaranteed debt.
It was another in a series of methods — including shared-equity deals and "true-up" clauses — to ease the agency's immense task of plowing through failed-bank assets.
"Obviously, they have a lot of failures," said David Katz, a partner in Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. "They are trying very, very hard to develop creative and efficient transaction structures and techniques to deal with all the failures and the assets from the various receiverships."
Though the deal announced Friday involved securitized assets, it is not the same as the idea the agency has explored to take actual failed-bank loans and slice them up into assets to be sold in the securitization market.
That plan — similar to a tactic used by the Resolution Trust Corp. to unload assets during the thrift crisis — "hasn't been finalized yet," a spokesman said.
Instead, the bond issuance lets the FDIC obtain fresh liquidity while not having to try to sell MBS assets in an otherwise illiquid market.
Under the deal, the FDIC created a trust to hold the securities. One portion of the assets is backed by payment-option, adjustable-rate mortgages, and another is backed mostly by fixed-rate mortgages. The unpaid balance of the securities is $3.6 billion.
The agency used a private placement to issue the notes. More than 70 investors participated in the bond offer, including banks, investment funds, insurance funds and pension funds.
"It allows the FDIC to bring in a good proportion of value today, but since we're not selling the securities we're able to recover more in a few years by selling the bonds for closer to their intrinsic value," the spokesman said.
Among the techniques for unloading failed-bank assets have been the scores of loss-sharing agreements the FDIC has completed with acquirers to make deals attractive.
In September, the agency also began developing public-private partnerships with investors to share ownership in new funds created to hold failed-bank assets. The FDIC, which has hoped to use the model to help open banks dispose of troubled loans, has completed four such shared-equity deals — all involving financing from the agency.
Other tactics have included getting payments from acquirers to reward the agency if an acquirer's stock price improves after a failed-bank purchase and so-called "true-up" clauses, in which the agency benefits from acquisitions that produce fewer losses than expected.