Skip to comments.Fortune : Don't believe the populist hype (The Government Bailouts were Absolutely Needed!)
Posted on 07/16/2010 2:20:16 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Beware the revisionists. It was bound to happen eventually, but here we are, less than two years after the U.S. faced its worst financial crisis in decades, and a steady stream of politicians routinely take to the airwaves to declare that the government overreacted with the $700 billion TARP plan and ripped off the taxpayer. That the incredible interventions by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury weren't necessary. That we should have taken our lumps and let the chips fall where they may.
Yeah, right. Jimmy Dunne, senior managing principal at investment-banking firm Sandler O'Neill, summed up my feelings perfectly when I asked him recently what he thought of those politicians: "They're idiots," he said.
Dunne is one of many who watched the meltdown from a courtside seat. "You had to be at your desk every day, but there was just this feeling of hopelessness, like there was nothing you could do," he says of those dark days in the fall of 2008. "You just had this feeling in your stomach that if the government didn't stand up and say, 'We will be there,' the whole thing would be crumbling down."
Why would things crumble? Because our financial system is one that operates on the idea of faith. Faith that institutions will back their promises, that people will pay their bills. And this nation went through a period where everyone questioned that faith. Institution after institution came right up to the edge of collapse -- and some plunged off: Bear Stearns, IndyMac, Lehman Brothers, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG (AIG, Fortune 500), Merrill Lynch, Washington Mutual (WAMUQ), Wachovia. The most frequently asked question on Wall Street back then was: Who's next? And in that environment, everything shuts down.
(Excerpt) Read more at money.cnn.com ...
Author uses an analogy :
“It’s like going to a party and being told 10 out of the 40 people there have a contagious disease, You don’t know which 10. Are you going to shake anybody’s hand?”
That’s why the government had to step in and take such extraordinary steps, from backing the credit markets to insuring money market investments to raising the FDIC’s deposit insurance to $250,000 per bank account. Combined, those moves helped stop the run on the banks and kept the panic from spreading.
Those who think the financial system’s collapse would have hurt only Wall Street fat cats are fools — or terribly naive. When major companies can’t get funding, they can’t meet their payroll obligations. Some major companies including a few Dow components — might have fallen into that camp back in the autumn of 2008 when the credit markets seized up, leaving hundreds of thousands of employees without a paycheck. It would have immediately trickled down to smaller companies across the country.
B/S! Socialism never works! Show me where the constitution says that the tax payers must bail out the bankers!!
What exactly is it that limits the risks that too big to fail companies are willing to take if the taxpayer bails them out whenerever required?
Author gives the following arguments as to what would have happened if there were no bailouts :
* Unemployment, which is dogging our nation right now with an official rate just under 10%, could have easily risen to 25% and beyond, just like during the Great Depression.
* The disruption that would have played out if the banks had frozen up would be disastrous. During the height of the crisis, The author was joined on the Squawk Box set by a guest host whose firm now manages over $1 trillion in assets. During one commercial break, he confessed that he had recently told his wife to go to the bank and take out as much money as possible, because he wasn’t sure the ATMs would be working the next day.
* The smartest people, the ones with the most intimate knowledge of what was happening in the markets, all thought things were even more dire than government officials were letting on at that point.
And to enslave the peasants.
Another brainwashed Demboslut parroting moron heard from.
There was no run on the banks, that was recently proven to be a total BS hoax to justify the stealing of 800 billion dollars.
I disagree. That trickle down feeling I have now is the government draining my bank accounts.
Why should all of us support the few that basically perpetrated fraud? Why should all of us support overly generous pension systems that can’t support themselves?
Where the hell is MY bail-out?
Rebellion is brewing!!
Party like it’s 1773!!
Throw the bums out. Every damn socialist, statist and big government political whore!!
I’d be happier if AIG had been parted out and if Goldman Sachs had been terminated too. Fannie and Freddie should’a been terminated too.
Tarp wasn’t bad ...it was just a temporary prop up and Banks paid it back Remember the gov buying up the S& L mess under Reagan? ....Stimulus under Obama and everything else is what has really hurt.
Fortune magazine used to be a capitalist publication. Now, it’s a crony-capitalist publication.
Regardless of the benefits, which are speculative at best, the bailout has enabled continued corruption and incompetence. If the consequence of failure is profit, there’s no incentive to change.
What about the constitution? What about our freedom? What part of Up Yours BIG Government do you not understand??
Rebellion is brewing and this bailout crap was the last straw that started it!!
Banks that are corrupt need to fail, not get bailed out. The reason for the problems in the first place was the CRA, and that hasn’t been changed.
All we did was give a bunch of thieves the keys to our money. Insured accounts would have been covered. Failed banks would have been bought up by successful banks and asorbed.
I see. Faith.
Faith that the Ratings Agencies could be trusted when they evaluated the vaporware residuals on worthless morgages, you mean?
Who is Becky Quick and why should I care what she thinks.
G/S next to AIG were resposible for this mess, and they just got off scott free. The taxpayers get screwed yet -—AGAIN.
FORTUNE has been on my list as a contrary indicator for quite some time now, at least for signals for buying and selling gold.
Let’s put it this way — whether we like it or not, People DO put their greatest faith ( rightly or wrongly ) when it comes to saving their money, in the last bastion of perceived safety in a financial crisis -— GOVERNMENT.
Heck, most conservative people I know who work in New York city own government bonds.
First I've heard that -- do you have a link?
Well, Goldman just settled its fraud charges with the SEC for $550 million yesterday. You think it should have paid more? Tell your Congressman.
There is a difference between punishing malefactors or great wealth and letting the whole economy collapse into anarchy. Punish the malefactors, but let’s skip the anarchy. You wouldn’t like the America that emerges from it - one where the entire Constitution has been scrapped.
Becky Quick is an anchorette on CNBC, aka Bubblevision. Whatever it takes to keep the banks and the stock market up, they’re for it. Their so-called free-market-champion Larry Kudlow was pounding the table for TARP with such gusto that Bernie Sanders laughed in his face during an interview and called him a bona fide socialist.
There was no run on the banks! In fact people were loading up savings and Money Markets. Yes, some companies would have failed as well they should have. Who says those companies could not get funding? People were pulling from investments, not banks. We did not have to do this infusion. Where is this crap coming from? This whole fiasco was manufacture by gov’t! The 2006 dems started this whole mess and now America is going to pay for it. Dems should be put out of power for at least a century!
Thanks, I don’t watch CNN so the info helps.
There’s a difference between the bank failing, wiping out stockholders and bondholders, and grandma’s deposits getting wiped out. That’s what the FDIC is for.
RE: If the consequence of failure is profit, theres no incentive to change
OK, let’s say we let these irresponsible banks ( e.g. Citibank, Wachovia, Washingtom Mutual, etc.) all fail without bailouts of any kind whatsoever... are you saying that all depositors of these banks should simply lose their money as well and government should simply stand by and let that happen ?
If not, what’s the alternative?
RE: Thats what the FDIC is for.
So, the government still has a role to play then after all !
>> $700 billion TARP plan and ripped off the taxpayer.
Where all that cash be at now, Quicky?
Obama has already scrapped the constitution. TARP led the way. Bush/McCain screwed us over royally in the end!!
Screw the taxpayers. We gotta destroy the constitution to save it!! /sarc
Never vote for RINOS!!
They’ll screw you in the end every time!!
Throw the bums OUT!!
This from people who are substantively connected to the welfare of the Wall Street financial system and its hangers-on. This whole debacle which has shackled our progeny to financial servitude would have been averted if these money-makers were allowed to reap the fruits of their true labors.
Not saying that Ms. Quick is a pinko. Now that the pinkos run the media we are hearing this “revisionist” crap more and more as the truth struggles to get past the left’s slanted initial reporting.
I won’t quibble with you on the depth of free-market lassiez-faire capitalism we should have in society, but note that the I in FDIC stands for Insurance — banks (i.e. depositors) pay / paid into this fund and traded some small percentage of the interest on their deposits for the peace of mind; theoretically it follows that it should be self-sustaining in the same way the casualty insurance industry is, and therefore not necessarily exclusively a government enterprise.
Bailing out depositors can be done without passing the money through the insitutions, but other than the FDIC, should the taxpayers be insurers of losses to depositors? Stockholders? Investors? Employees? Is there constitutional authority? Should it be an executive or a legislative decision? Or should it continue to be random, as it is now? Does that comport with equal protection?
There was a run on Lehman, which brought it down. Have you overlooked that one?
You remark is also illogical: the whole point is that the runs that begin are almost impossible to stop. You are arguing, in essence, that medicine has not proved necessary because the patient has not died.
Hear hear. We are being intellectually honest to include Bush / Paulson / Greenspan when we write the list of those who wrecked the economy. One of the left-wing’s favorite fallacies is that conservatives became outraged over defecits only after Obama became President. But we all know there were plenty of threads and plenty of posts of outrage here re TARP long before the November 2008 election.
Yup. Big Government screwed it up. And will continue to scew it up as long as we let them.
Throw out the Big Government liberals and RINOS and their idiot sycophants and enablers!!
Cut the taxes!!
Cut the spending!!
Cut the government!!
Get the government the hell out of the way and set our people FREE!!
Rebellion is brewing!!
Yeh right, and Obo is a US born citizen, Obamacare is for the good of all, and Santa is real.
Those worthless darn companies should have all been forced into BK and sold to someone who might have a clue how to operate a business, just like GM, should have been sold off to the highest bidder.
1) Unemployment, which is dogging our nation right now with an official rate just under 10%, could have easily risen to 25% and beyond, just like during the Great Depression.
A) Unemployment is actually at 18% (U-6) and real economic dislocation, (forced early retirement, decrease in labor market, and two earner housholds reduced to 1 earner households have REAL unemployment at 22%) Just like an Obamabot to say that $800 Billion is a good price to pay to save 3% points off UE numbers. I suppose she thinks that the UE rate has dropped .2% points due to economic activity.
2) The disruption that would have played out if the banks had frozen up would be disastrous. During the height of the crisis, The author was joined on the Squawk Box set by a guest host whose firm now manages over $1 trillion in assets. During one commercial break, he confessed that he had recently told his wife to go to the bank and take out as much money as possible, because he wasnt sure the ATMs would be working the next day.
A) Typical Leftist claptrap. NAME NAMES. It would have been a public service that some idiot responsible for $1 tril of other peoples money would be so insane as to believe that his wife would have to rescue his shekels from the bank BEFORE he could get out of work should be FIRED! There was no run on ANY banks save for the one that was caused by Chuck Schumer. The bad banks would have been gobbled for market share by the more nimble, less piggish banks that would have loved to feast on the customers of the bloated bureaucratic megebanks. The investors would have lost their money, as they should have, just like the stockholders in GM, and the bankruptcy laws would have carved up the TOO big to fail banks and old off the quality assets t the highest bidders, as should have happened. The average everyday saver would have been protected with the FDIC and the prolonged economic problems of this slush fund would not exist now.
What actually happened was typical Crony Capitalism at it's worst. My profits are my own and my losses are the tax payers.
3)The smartest people, the ones with the most intimate knowledge of what was happening in the markets, all thought things were even more dire than government officials were letting on at that point.
A) Oh, you mean the smart guys that came up with the derivatives in he first place? Those smart guys? The ones that thought that NINJA loans and 120% equity, no appraisal, no money down financing in the housing market was a great and secure investment? Those guys? Yea, I can see why the author would listen to them!
Facts are facts! The fact is that the bailouts where a complete RIP OFF of the American public. They where a direct result of Government intervention in the markets and they have sowed the seeds for the abortion of a financial “reform” bill that will stifle the economy for decades.
The bailouts ushered in the corrupt Marxist B. Hussein Obama who has brought in socialism to the hilt! Hussein says the constitution is flawed and must be destroyed. His enablers, including a few on this thread, seem to agree with him. We should ignore the constitution to save it. The U.S. Treasury is not a slush fund for political payoffs!! And that is where the bailout and stimulus ripoffs went. Political payoffs!!
Eff the Big Government fat cats, bankers, unions and thieves!!
Throw the bums OUT!!
Anyone who supports this Marxist thuggery is an idiot!!
“That we should have taken our lumps and let the chips fall where they may. “
It is precisely because we allow the government to interfere substantially in the business cycle that when it does hit a point of recession (which is inevitable) that it hits bottom and stays there. If we go on providing incentives to fail, then failure is what is going to happen, more frequently and much worse each time, until no one will buy Uncle Sam’s worthless paper. Taking our lumps is awful but kicking the can down the road will destroy the Republic in the long term.
Another pack of lies from the rapists to try to de-legitimize our resentment. “You better put some ice on that”
I beg to disagree, Jim. What ushered socialism is one half of the country that celebrates it, while the other half is ignorant of how capitalism works. You will recall, I am sure, that Hillary too was urging the new "progressive" era --- just a codeword for "socialist." Both of the Dem candidates are Marxist, only one is a bit more open than the other.
I share you pain probably more than you could imagine. But, to be truthful with myself and others, I have to acknowledge that Bush has increased the government by 56%. Do you remember any serious discussion and opposition from the Republican Congress? I don't. It was also the Repub governor of Minnesota, if I recall correctly, who proclaimed that era of small government is over.
When you have Republicans that far left, it is little surprise that the Dems can get away with extreme leftist policies.
"Hussein says the constitution is flawed and must be destroyed. His enablers, including a few on this thread,"
I don't know about this thread, but I do see the enablers quite a bit on other threads: those that rave against the free markets and repeat verbatim the falsehoods from the NY Slimes.
"We should ignore the constitution to save it. The U.S. Treasury is not a slush fund for political payoffs!! And that is where the bailout and stimulus ripoffs went. Political payoffs!!"
I completely agree. I an outraged by the bailouts as much as you are, but a little confuses: you write with such passion as if we disagreed on this issue.
"Eff the Big Government fat cats, bankers, unions and thieves!!"
Completely agree with you here, too. Unlike you, some people are enraged not just by "Big Government fat cats" but all fat cats, i.e., the rich. In so doing, they advance the commie class warfare and serve as "useful idiots," as Lenin called them.
"Anyone who supports this Marxist thuggery is an idiot!!"
Even worse than an idiot: to support Marxists while having the privilege of being an American is also criminal (in my book).
P.S. I am not sure how any of this is connected with my remark about the run on Lehman.
Don’t look now, but if you support or excuse this socialist garbage you are an enabler!
Down with Big Government socialists and their enablers!!
Rebellion is brewing!!
This piece has to be a rip-off of the unicorn that craps skittles story or Dire Straits ‘Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free’...........