The Media Whores and Their TARP Hand Jobs, Again



How many TARP hand jobs can the media give out? An unlimited amount, apparently, it never gets old (to them, at least).

Andrew Sullivan writes via the Daily Beast:

[T]wo years ago, I sure didn't expect the government to make a profit from TARP. And I sure didn't expect the auto bailouts to become such huge successes.

What's surprising to me is how pallid is the Obama administration's spin has been on this. I never hear them bragging about how they managed to pull us out of the economic nose-dive we were facing. I know why: the recession isn't over, even if TARP was a success, no one wants to hear about it, etc. But it's one of the strongest and least valued part of Obama's record - along with the cost control innovations in health insurance reform.

At some point, you have to stand up and defend your record. No doubt Obama is biding his time on this. But count me as surprised as I am impressed.

Naked Capitalism reflects on the above comments appropriately:

Any effort to look at the performance of the TARP in isolation is pure three card monte, and accepting that framing plays into the Administration’s hands. You can’t look at its “success” of a program when its results are dependent on other operations, such as continued regulatory forbearance (aka extend and pretend), the Fed’s super low interest rates (a massive tax on savers), the continuing use of Fannie and Freddie to prop up the housing market, the train wreck hitting state and municipal budgets (the collapse in their revenues is a result of devoting fiscal firepower to the banks rather than the real economy; the experience of other severe banking crisis suggests that a short term fall in economic activity was inescapable, but less bank-coddling approaches would have led to a bona fide recovery).

If someone was flattened in a car wreck, taken to a hospital, put on life support, and then subjected to all sorts of operations and medical procedures, how would you judge the result? If the doctor told you, “His broken legs have healed, the internal bleeding has stopped, we are no longer giving him IVs” would you consider any of that germane if he was brain dead and still hospitalized, with no immediate prospect of functioning independently?

With election season fast approaching (has it really been almost 3 years since I got my red, white and blue killer bunny tattooed on my inner arm on Election Day '08?), it's pretty obvious what's going on here. I think this administration should take it a step further and pay some of these guys a la Golden Palace to get "OBAMA 2012" tattooed on their foreheads.

Fuck, TARP wasn't even Obama's deal, why on Earth would it be fair for him to take credit for it, even if it were actually successful instead of just another money laundering scheme?

Instead of talking about how successful TARP has supposedly been, let's talk about how Hank Paulson lied to get it passed. Let's talk about how banks that didn't even need the money were forced to take it anyway (ahem, money laundering). Let's talk about this administration's other failed programs, like HAMP.

Someone come get me when we're ready to talk about that.

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.

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