Monday, June 22, 2009

Selling a Swindle

"What cannot be disputed, however, is the financial bailout's biggest loser: the American taxpayer. The US government, led by the Treasury Department, has done little, if anything, to maximize returns on its trillion-dollar, taxpayer-funded investment. ... For the ten largest TARP investments made in 2008, totalling $184.2 billion, Treasury received on average only $66 worth of assets for every $100 invested. ... Economist Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, suggested to TomDispatch in an interview that the opaque and complicated nature of the bailout may not be entirely unintentional, given the difficulties it raises for anyone wanting to follow the trail of taxpayer dollars from the government to the banks. '[Government offiicials] see this all as a Three Card Monte, moving everything around really quickly so the public won't understand the truth that this really is an elaborate way to subsidize the banks,' Baker says, adding that the public 'won't realize we gave money away to some of the richest people.'," my emphasis, Andy Kroll (AK), at The Nation, 26 May 2009, link:

AK, an intern at the left-leaning Nation's got it. I even agree with Baker. "Feature, not bug". Shades of Yves Smith.


Anonymous said...

How about a little instant replay on the particulars?

Since it's taxpayers money we should have a little show...

Episode 1: The Bear falls
Episode 2: Lehman longs for rescue
Episode 3: AIG is roughed up seeks bailout

There's enough action for a whole season of shows...

Paul said...

I think a large number of people are very well aware of what has happened here in terms of wealth transfers to Wall Street. But there seems little political reaction from the middle classes to the decline in their living standards.