Monday, September 24, 2012

Four years ago: The Dark Bailout

Here's another reminder of how things look better than four years ago, when we were partying like 1929.  This is what ABC News posted about an event that happened four years ago tonight.

Bush: Bail Out Economy, or Face 'Long and Painful Recession'
It also came a day after Bush went before the nation to argue for his administration's proposed $700 billion bailout of the financial system, which had been met with skepticism by some in Congress and the American public.

"Our entire economy is in danger," Bush said, urging Congress to take quick action and outlining his rationale for the bailout.

Failing to pass a rescue plan, Bush said, would create the risk of a "long and painful recession" -- meaning more foreclosures, lost jobs, declining home values, business failures, stock losses and difficulty getting loans.
Too late. The market had already slipped into a financial panic and the economy had been in recession since December 2007 and would remain in recession until July 2009. TARP, which is what the bailout would become, wasn't enough to stop what had already started. It was enough to keep overnight credit markets open, thus preventing a complete collapse. This means that the skeptics and critics were both right and wrong. TARP didn't work as advertised, because it was too little, too late, but was adequate to prevent an even bigger disaster. It also, as this cartoon I used to conclude my previous post entry about four years ago, put the taxpayers under water.

I won't bore my readers with the entire speech here.* Instead, I present "The Dark Bailout," which appeared the next day.

As for how things have improved since then, even William Kristol admitted that "Obama Team Has Turned Around" Bush's Financial Meltdown. Yes, really.

*If you're interested, the text of the speech is here and Talking Points Memo has the video here.

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