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Thank you for these insights into implications of T.A.R.P, also known as the "first bailout." That the merits of T.A.R.P. should be debated at this time on grounds it miraculously "made a profit" on the federal funds expended demonstrates once again that the real cause of the financial collapse in 2008 is not seen - at least not by the "best-in-their-field econ professors" of the elite Ivy League schools.
The economic macro-force in the financial destruction which began in 2007 was concerted fraud in securities markets executed ruthlessly by the largest Wall Street players, who are treated as untouchables by the Securities & Exchange Commission. The SEC's intense neglect of Bernard Madoff's fraud pales in comparison to the official deference shown by the agency to Wall Street lions with really big "juice," as a Senate investigation of the Pequot Capital hedge fund showed (five of the top seven SEC officials resigned, plus lesser lights, but nothing changed in the agency fundamentally).
Financial fraud in the nature of naked short selling drove down share prices of target companies, giving the appearance that markets judged the companies to be near worthless. This permitted federal allies of the financial predators to seize the private firms and give their assets to favored cronies. Private capital fled from the markets and credit collapsed. Banks still are not lending - as reserves remain presently at a level 23 times higher than on August 31, 2008 - because federal regulators warn banks they can be visited (and shut down) on any Friday evening.
With share prices driven down by fraudulent trading and, in some cases, wiped out by federal intervenors such as Treasury secretary Henry Paulson, the federal government stepped in and took controlling interests for practically nothing. Who could not turn a "profit" in such illicit circumstances?
I wrote of this as the events unfolded, and provided greater detail and evidence than is possible here, at my website: http://www.classicalcapital.com
I provide the link only to substantiate what I have said.
Again, thank you for the insights of Nicole Gelinas here.
"...market discipline through rules that allow any firm to fail without laying waste to the economy at the same time"
Can Ms Gelinas also clearly explain what these rules consists of and how realistic their implementation is.
I keep $ 5,000 in a savings account,where it earns about a buck a month. If I put it at risk in the market, it can earn two bucks a month. Where can I hire a finacial adviser to help me choose between the two?
These bailouts, TARP etc distort the markets and nobody knows the real worth of anything. How can anybody in an environment like this, make long or even short term financial decisions and on top of that live with massive new government laws and rules and programs that changes everything a business man had worked with up to this point.
No, all involved banks, corporations and businesses in general, should have gone thru the normal process of bankruptcy. New people would than have had the chance to rebuild a new. Get the corrupt element out of the system. But no, those bastards in and out of government, helped each other and left the taxpayers with holding the bag again, like it always is.
They, the bosses on wall street, in banks and all kinds of other financial institutions screwed up royally. They made them self rich and the small guy got smaller again. The revolving door between government-employment and financial institution-employment and vice versa has got to stop. No more quitting here and start working the next day on the other side of the street and a few months or years later do it again in reverse.
These crooks know the secrets on both sides of the street and the taxpayer and customer gets crushed in the middle. Americans in a false understanding of things seem to tolerate them self's into oblivion soon and don't seem to mind. History is repeating itself, but this time there is nobody left to come to the rescue. America will end up a third world banana republic with a standard of living in the pits. For all you tax-money takers, this will be a rude awakening, it will be work or don't eat. What a novel concept, don't you think so, you liberal parasites?