The Treasury made clear this week that some banks, in an effort to build capital, will be expected to sell off assets, spin off assets or enter more joint ventures. But that's easier said than done. Buyers are already scarce; those that remain are all too aware which banks are being motivated by stress test concerns. They'll be looking for lowball valuations.
The Financial Times says, "Some experts were concerned that a broad attempt at government-supported asset sales could result in another AIG-type situation, where a sweeping effort to sell assets had largely fizzled out." People will be closely watching Bank of America, which may be considering a sale of its Columbia Management asset management unit, its First Republic banking unit and its stake in China Construction Bank. But all in all, you've got wonder: Who would be the buyers?