Treasury Eases Legacy Securities Buying Rules

April 6, 2009 ( - The U.S. Treasury has given fund managers two more weeks to apply to its toxic securities purchase and has put in place less rigorous selection criteria.

Reuters said the new deadline for application to run public-private investment funds to buy “legacy” securities is now April 24, with an early call on which firm will get selected by May 15.

“The new guidance extends the deadline for the application to the program and clarifies that participation criteria will be viewed holistically — failure to meet any one criterion will not necessarily disqualify a proposal,” the Treasury said in a statement.

The securities investment program is one part of the Treasury’s effort to flush $500 billion to $1 trillion worth of distressed assets from bank balance sheets.

When the program was first detailed last month, the Treasury said that for money managers to be selected to run one of about five public-private investment funds, firms had to prove an ability to raise $500 million in private capital, have a minimum of $10 billion in mortgage backed securities under management, have a proven track record in these securities, and be headquarters in the United States, Reuters said.

The Treasury also said it was encouraging smaller firms and those owned by minorities and women to partner with the major fund manager applicants to help broaden participation in the program, according to Reuters.

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