the fun begins for taxpayers

Bear Stearns $30 bln mortgage portfolio falls 9 pct Thu 23 Oct 2008 6:09 PM EDT NEW YORK, Oct 23 (Reuters) - A $29.5 billion mortgage portfolio originally owned by Bear Stearns and now owned mainly by the U.S. government plummeted 9.2 percent in the third quarter, the Federal Reserve said on Thursday. The portfolio, now worth $26.8 billion, was essentially transferred to the New York Fed in June after JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM - news) agreed to take over Bear Stearns, which had suffered a run on the bank. JPMorgan agreed to take the first $1.15 billion of losses from the portfolio, with the U.S. taxpayers on the hook for the rest. The decline in the value of the Bear Stearns mortgage assets so far has been about $3 billion, an amount equal to about a quarter of the book value, or accounting value of the company, implying that the assets would have severely cut into Bear Stearns’ capital had the company survived into the third quarter. (Reporting by Dan Wilchins)