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Maybe you could say that PPIP lost its pop. Or maybe it was just late to the table. Maybe its inception was simply paved with good intentions. May be. The fact is that the government’s Public Private Investment Program after a year of mystery, outrage and conjecture, and two quarters of activity, has utilized only about 5% of its projected purchasing power. It seems that the proposed toxic asset savior, when push came to shove, garnered little faith among the commercial real estate community and in the process became a shell of its once Olympian ambitions. Dial back to March 23, 2009 when the government announced PPIP. The market was fearful of the potential for toxic assets to hamstring banks’ balance sheets and strangle the loan market.

The proposal, at its core, was a mix of government-subsidized free market ideology and private capital, calling for a select few fund managers to facilitate price discovery through competitive acquisition of troubled debt. The prognostication from the Capitol was that the program would be able to raise $500 billion of purchasing power under the auspices of the public private partnerships and jump-start the skittish investment market.

With an April 10, 2009 deadline, the Department of Treasury insisted the funds would be selected using narrow criteria:

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