As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

That's Only If You Think $23.7 Trillion Is A Lot Of Money

Neil Barofsky puts a number on the worst-case scenario:

The federal government has devoted $4.7 trillion to help the financial sector through its crisis, a level of assistance equal to about one-third of the overall U.S. economy, a watchdog report said Monday.

Under the worst of circumstances, the report said, the government's maximum exposure could total nearly $24 trillion, or $80,000 for every American.

That's an unlikely circumstance and represents the gross exposure, but what it does show is how the TARP funds are really a drop in the bucket. All of these special programs that banks can access make a mockery of them "paying back" their obligations. All of them are still open to the banksters. And what burns me more than the exposure is how the banks have used this money:

Many of the banks that got federal aid to support increased lending have instead used some of the money to make investments, repay debts or buy other banks, according to a new report from the special inspector general overseeing the government's financial rescue program.

The report, which will be published Monday, surveyed 360 banks that got money through the end of January and found that 110 had invested at least some of it, that 52 had repaid debts and that 15 had used funds to buy other banks.

Roughly 80 percent of respondents, or 300 banks, also said at least some of the money had supported new lending.

They've taken our money and shaken it lovingly down their gullets. And as a result, the economy hasn't budged. Larry Summers is finally urging banks to lend, but he could have put this in writing months ago. It is simply not good enough to expect voluntary compliance. Hope is not a plan.

...I'm still trying to figure out how you can say that the stimulus plan is working except for the jobs. Wasn't that the point?

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