Nasdaq Creating Tarp-based Indexes

Posted by Bull Bear Trader | 1/09/2009 08:53:00 AM | , , , | 0 comments »

The Nasdaq is planning to launch a series of trading and investment products based on companies receiving TARP money (see WSJ article). The first is the GRI (Government Relief Index), tracking 24 companies that received over one billion dollars in bailout assistance. The index is being pushed as a way to track the effectiveness of the TARP, yet it seems that for the index to be successful (profitable), it either needs to be widely followed and reported, or used as a vehicle to be traded against. The first seems unlikely (since many will argue that the success of TARP is not based simply on the individual companies doing well), and the second seems counter-intuitive, or at least counterproductive. Given a potential ETF product, it is not exactly clear how making it easier to short the companies in trouble and needing assistance helps the recovery. Maybe a simple "dead or alive" count would be easiest, but even that is difficult to gauge. Is Bear dead or alive? How about Merrill? Fannie or Freddie?