WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Distressed asset funds targeting U.S. toxic bank assets are being set up at a rapid clip using Cayman Islands legal structures, said lawyers from a Cayman law firm on Tuesday.
"There are a lot of funds being established now to take on the toxic assets," Charles Jennings, managing partner at the law firm of Maples and Calder, told Reuters.
Prominent hedge fund, private equity and other distressed asset investors are involved, said Henry Smith, also a partner at the firm, which specializes in international and offshore law, particularly Cayman Islands financial law.
The Obama administration is working on a public-private partnership approach to valuing toxic assets and moving as much as $1 trillion of them off the balance sheets of major financial institutions.
These assets, many backed by troubled subprime mortgage loans, are central to the credit market crisis disrupting the global financial system and dragging down the economy.
Blackstone Group LP (BX.N), a major private equity firm, said last month that it was talking to the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve about ways to help get the financial system going again and find investment opportunities.