Applying auction theory to the toxic-asset rescue plan currently released by the United States Treasury Department, this paper demonstrates an equilibrium where moderately poor bidders outbid rich bidders in such auctions. After defeating their rich rivals and acquiring the toxic assets, such bidders will default on government-provided loans whenever the toxic assets turn out to be unsalvageable. An alternative mechanism is discussed.
The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy (BEJEAP) is an international forum for scholarship that employs microeconomics to analyze issues in business, consumer behavior and public policy. Topics include the interaction of firms, the functioning of markets, the effects of domestic and international policy and the design of organizations and institutions.