Goldman Sachs offers cash for Fannie's tax credits: A bad deal for taxpayers?

Goldman Sachs' cash offer for Fannie's tax credits likely a bad deal for taxpayers
Goldman Sachs' cash offer for Fannie's tax credits likely a bad deal for taxpayers

Goldman Sachs (GS), which quickly turned back into a profitable institution after taking bailout money from the government, now wants to reduce its taxes on that profit by buying tax credits from Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae earned those tax credits by encouraging low-income housing, but can't take advantage of them because it's not making any profits.

Enter Goldman Sachs, which has swooped in to offer cash in exchange for the tax credits, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, which was unable to find out what Goldman plans to pay for them. Obviously, for Goldman to make money on the deal, it must buy the tax credits for less than they will be worth to it in tax savings. How much less is the big question.