I've been talking about the Super SIV bailout plan since the plans for the fund first became public October 14. Today The Wall Street Journal is questioning whether the Super SIV bailout fund can be funded in time [subscription required] to help struggling SIVs who need to find investors for $100 billion in debt coming due in the next six to nine months. The Journal reports some of the biggest SIV operators already are selling their assets, including Citigroup (NYSE: C), the Super SIV champion and the operator of the largest chunk of SIVs, and Rabobank of the Netherlands. Moody's Investor services continues to downgrade the types of assets held by the SIVs, especially assets based on subprime mortgages in the U.S.
Why should you care? You may be holding a money market fund or mutual fund that holds debt from these SIVs in trouble. If the bailout doesn't arrive in time, SIVs will have to restructure their debt, wind down, or in the worst-case scenario become unable to pay their debt investors. When the Journal first started talking about this mess, it reported SIVs held $400 billion in assets globally. Today, because of the write-downs and sale of assets, the Journal is estimating the total value of SIV assets at $350 billion.