TARP was the absolute height of crony capitalism. Many of the big banks should have gone down, but in the midst of a “Blackberry panic” – as David Stockman puts it – the masters of the masters of the universe lost sight of reality and the nature of markets. Yes, Goldman Sachs would have gone down. But this would have been a GOOD THING. The blood which should have filled the the streets of Downtown Manhattan would have washed the unsustainable leverage clean from the system (for a while). Giants are meant to fall. It would have been good for the economy.
It would have been terrible for Wall Street of course. Banks, livelihoods, careers, and reputations hung in the balance that fall of 2008. For the bankers the world was indeed ending. So in a selfish act of desperation they forced the American public to save them.
According to this review Mr. Geithner thinks quite a lot of himself. He takes credit (credit?) for the lion’s share of the TARP bailout, which he sees as a success and not as many have come to see in the years since, an overreaction to a meltdown brought on by easy money which fundamentally undermined our economy.
In January Bloomberg reported that Tim Geithner called the CEO of Standard and Poor’s after the company downgraded US debt to explain that the move would have “ramifications” for the company. Now S&P finds itself embroiled in a lawsuit driven by the Justice Department which S&P says is punishment for the downgrade. Read More
Is anyone, anyone, surprised by this?
Geithner was able to get in and out of Washington DC pretty much unscathed. But his legacy will haunt the Treasury for a good while.
I will say that he did his job – for the banks.
Robert Lenzner at Forbes would like to know about a few things.
At least he’s not doing too much damage in the private sector. At least not yet. Nice that the banks are happy to pay so much for Mr. Geithner to just show up and talk for an hour.
I made this video almost 4 years ago now and just stumbled across it again. It definitely deserves a re-post. The Liberty and Economics Review was my blog before AgainstCronyCapitalism.org became what it is today, in case you were wondering.
It’s sad but true. The combination of no moral compass and political connections can create a powerful money making (taking) concoction. And there are far too many people with this general disposition wandering Capitol Hill and the mirrored buildings of Downtown Washington DC.