I needed a good laugh, and I got it after reading the Treasury's retrospective report on TARP. The report is the official propaganda piece by the government to justify the illegal use of taxpayer money (TARP). According to the government, the reason for the report was because "many have lost sight of the pressing need for this initiative at that time and criticized its successful implementation." These arrogant individuals cannot understand why giving banksters 100's of billions of taxpayer money was wrong. After all, Charlie Munger said that the common folk should "thank God" for the bailouts; his only regret was that the amount of financial assistance was too low. Anyway, the government knows that the key to effective propaganda is to say the same thing over and over, no matter how preposterous, and the people will eventually believe it (one of those helpful tips from Joseph Goebbels). The report uses standard lines such as: We had to give the banks the money, or we would have had a depression/economic collapse. This is a great statement because there is no way to verify this specious claim. In a way, TARP was successful as it allowed the banks to continue to pay 10's of billions of dollars in bonuses to executives. And please do not forget that TARP was a bipartisan bill which had the support from both parties. Furthermore, the deceitful report goes on to say that the glorious TARP is only expected to cost $51 billion. How losing money is a good deal for taxpayers is beyond me. The losses were not from loans made to the banks, but from loans to the automotive industry and housing related programs. However, right below the $51 billion number is a disclaimer that notes the cost of the GSEs is not included. The total cost of these institutions is described as "substantial." It's great how we keep the cost of Fannie and Freddie off-balance sheet! Out of sight, out of mind. Disclosure would distract from the government's positive message that bailouts are good and that we should be gratified when taxpayers are given the opportunity to participate again. I have no doubt that this time will come sooner than we think.
I don't want to seem overly critical of government, but does anyone remember the exact date of TARP? The first tranche of TARP was released on Oct. 3, 2008, when the Dow was at 10,325. By October 24, 2008, 21 days after the bailout, the Dow had fallen 19% to 8,378. This shows that contrary to the government's claim, the bailout did not restore investor confidence and was most likely the cause of the market crash, as investors worried about why the bailout was necessary. No doubt this little sequence of events will be revised by the Treasury/Ministry of Truth to "properly" reflect the market's response to the government's action. The official "line" will be "The market rallied as investors regained confidence following the government's temporary financial assistance to banks."
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