Nov 28, 2011

$700 Billion TARP Was a Distraction to $Trillion-plus Bailout

Jonathan Schwarz has fascinating piece out reacting to Bloomberg's blockbuster on the Fed and the Global Financial Crisis.

What is clear is that without the massive Fed intervention, we have a depression. Is that the desired outcome? I think for the Tea Party, the answer is 'yes.'

Democratic accountability and oversight have not happened, as the Tea Party screams, 'hurrah.'

But most Americans really don't seem to care beyond a vague sense of despair that our country is a rigged game, and Congress is bought-and-paid-for.

Personally, I'm glad the Fed averted a depression, just would like a populist president as well.

Bloomberg recently won a lawsuit against Wall Street and the Federal Reserve to force the Fed to reveal how many trillions of dollars they handed out to banks and on what terms.

By Jonathan Schwarz

All of Bloomberg's giant new article about what they found out is worth reading. But I was particularly struck by this section:
TARP and the Fed lending programs went “hand in hand,”says Sherrill Shaffer, a banking professor at the University of Wyoming in Laramie and a former chief economist at the New York Fed. While the TARP money helped insulate the central bank from losses, the Fed’s willingness to supply seemingly unlimited financing to the banks assured they wouldn’t collapse, protecting the Treasury’s TARP investments, he says.“Even though the Treasury was in the headlines, the Fed was really behind the scenes engineering it,” Shaffer says.
Since this is what I wrote in June, 2009, I've reposted it below. The Federal Reserve's bailout of Wall Street is what mattered; TARP was a sideshow created to distract everyone from what the Fed was up to. ...

See Jonathan Schwarz for entire piece.

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