Suppose that a week ago I had entered a March Madness pool, paid $10, and filled out a bracket.
Suppose that right now my bracket is looking weak, with only about half the teams I picked to make the sweet 16 still in the tournament. I have not been mathematically eliminated from winning the pool, but I need extremely good luck the rest of the way. (Incidentally, this example is hypothetical. I don't follow college basketball, and I don't enter any pools.)
At this point, my entry is no longer worth $10. If I were to sell it, I might get fifteen cents for it. If I were a bank, my bracket would be a toxic asset.
Now, along comes Tim Geithner with a fistful of taxpayer dollars. The way his plan works, you can put up a nickel to get a share of my bracket, and Tim will lend you forty-five cents, which you do not have to pay back if you lose. If you win, you and Tim split the proceeds. You're happy, because for a nickel you're picking up half a share of a bracket worth fifteen cents. I'm happy, because I sell my toxic bracket for fifty cents instead of fifteen cents. Somebody should be unhappy. Guess who?