For some reason I bought into the conventional wisdom on TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program). TARP, aka the bank bailout, was touted as neccessary to save our economy from the brink of collapse. For whatever reason, I decided that I agreed with that conventional wisdom. Well not anymore.
Today I read a great editorial by economist Dean Baker which argues that TARP was completely unnecessary. What’s especially interesting is that Baker is a progressive, making him someone I would traditionally disagree with. But his arguments seem sound (although his anti-Wall Street rhetoric isn’t something I would use), which leads me to believe that TARP was, in fact , a gigantic con.
We bailed out the fat cats, and now they are back to making huge profits. I don’t begrudge any enterprise making butt loads of money, as long as they do so by competing in the free market. But when they make their billions thanks to Joe Taypayer, I get pretty pissed. Crony capitalism is just as bad as a command economy, because the fat cats and their friends in power are commanding us to keep them afloat, success in the free market be damned.