Is the Bailout a Bust?

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Nomi Prins senior fellow at Demos, former investment banker and author of piece on the Trouble Assets Relief Program in this week's The Nation Magazine, and Dan Gross senior editor at Newsweek, who has covered TARP's implementation, assess whether the Wall Street bailout is working.


Dan Gross and Nomi Prins

Comments [17]

Rylee N

TARP has been a big issue in the country. Some of us are still uncertain to the bailout plan, being proposed by some in the government. A lot of Senators were angry with the way that the first $350 billion was handled. While, Congress agreed to release the remainder of the TARP funds to Barack Obama before he was even in office. The vote was actually a bit of a struggle and only passed by 10 votes. The Treasury didn't keep track of what the money was spent on after they gave it to financial institutions. But the fed took taxpayer money and wasn't transparent about what it was being spent on. That's what got a lot of people upset. But Barack Obama promises he will use the remainder of the funds in a "new and responsible way." Let's hope so. To read more on the bailout money visit

Jan. 28 2009 06:10 AM
Yannie from EastbVillage

The Emperor STILL doesn't know he has no clothes!

Dec. 31 2008 11:54 AM

re 11

neglected to add specifically that "greater transparency in biz" is the best argument for the media to get some of that govt. cheese!

Possibly even be formally reorganized to maximize competence, effectiveness and impact.

This is not a joke or outrageous. It probably will eventually happen -- as it already has in other countries over the years -- but this is the time it should, in part because the most money would be available and the confusion is so complete at the moment that the confusion, itself, is interfering with progress.

Dec. 31 2008 11:01 AM
KC from Brooklyn

Great segment, Brian, as was the last one. I am so angry at my senators. I sent both of them letters stating my deep skepticism toward TARP. I received form letters telling me they cared but it was ultimately a good deal. Did I expect anything else? Not really. But wow, Schumer and Clinton are relatively GOOD senators, and they were pathetic on this legislation. That doesn't bode well.

Dec. 31 2008 10:48 AM

The bailout is like all the other Bush agendas put out, like the Clean Air Act that made our air dirtier, or the No Child Left Behind that leaves more children behind, or the Protect America Act that makes people less safe. This was the Troubled Asset Relief Program that offered no relief for troubled assets.

Dec. 31 2008 10:46 AM
markBrown from and

Here's a start:

Obama should tell EVERYONE who's taken Federal money:

No more executive pay greater then 30 times the LOWEST paid employee (or contractor) of the company.

No delayed payments, etc.

That needs to be the new base-line for 2009.

Dec. 31 2008 10:45 AM

It's transparency that would probably be the most valuable tool to be used at this moment. Ironically, the media is the one business that is dying.

Imagine if the media was covering this issue (allowing burglars to take over our financial system) in 1996-2005, when the crime was being committed?

Dec. 31 2008 10:44 AM
Modus Ponens

TARP funds are being disbursed non-transparently which leads to the possibility that access to this limited (but large) corpus of funds may be granted at the discretion of Treasury officials.

To what extent, if any, will outgoing Treasury staff be subject to revolving-door restrictions to prevent them from misusing their discretion over the disbursement of TARP funds as a quid pro quo for future employment?

Dec. 31 2008 10:43 AM
George from Westchester

Is it possible that the banks are actually paying of their CDS (credit default swaps) with this money? In effect are we actually paying off their bad bets without any of the money going to alleviate the situation?

Dec. 31 2008 10:43 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

This is where some of the money went
people just so you know we ain't getting back ANY of the money...we lost once again

Dec. 31 2008 10:40 AM
bret Brase from Williamsburg and Washington D.C.

Troubled Asset Repurchase Agreement: Failure, as it hasn't purchased a single Troubled Asset!!!

I work in Politics and Media. The big joke in DC and Wall St. is that Hank P would never agree to such an open arrangement if he was using Goldman Sach's money.

Barney Frank is under extreme pressure inside his own Financial Services committee and his party.

ps. The Money Machine 3 Part Article regarding AIG in Washington Post is fantastic.

Dec. 31 2008 10:39 AM

Why not give every legal citizen 1 million dollars, in the form of a cashier's check. Everyone would be obliged to deposit their checks in a bank and conduct their business by debit, or credit cards. And the government would know immediately where the money is going.

Dec. 31 2008 10:39 AM
Mark from Manhattan

What did Goldman Sachs do with their $10 billion?

Dec. 31 2008 10:38 AM

Would love to know why it's called a "bailout." If this were a bailout I would support it.

I am waiting for the NYorker cartoon with the begging man and the cardboard "Bailout" sign. Bailed out to where, exactly?

Or perhaps they might rename the TARP to the TAP?

Dec. 31 2008 10:34 AM
Andy B from Brooklyn

These are all old.
"If it seems too good to be true, it probably is."

"May the buyer beware."

"Don't count your chickens before they hatch."

Dec. 31 2008 10:34 AM

I can't even believe that GMAC is going to use its 5 Billion dollars to lower its lending standards in an effort to lend more money to people who are bigger risks. Isn't this exactly what got us into this mess? Doesn't this stink of stupidity?

Dec. 31 2008 10:34 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

The TARP is a collossal bust and a horrendous mistake...we should have listen to the people who spoke out against it at the beginning (Peter Schiff for 1)...our elected leaders let us down once us I mean the tax payers that have been left with the bill not the bankers that got bailed out...

Dec. 31 2008 10:33 AM

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