A year and a trillion or two, or three, dollars after the 2008 financial crisis, we're all feeling a little better off, no?
So why was the federal government's TARP watcher saying this last week
I do think because of the moral hazard, because of some systemic risks that are associated with making these institutions bigger and bigger ... systemically we may be in a more dangerous place even then we were a year ago.More dangerous?
Didn't we just rescue the financial system and nationalize or quasi-nationalize whole industries? (And by "we," we mean to include the outgoing administration of free-range capitalists that came before the guy they call a socialist now.)
Didn't we get people buying cars and homes and equities again?
Didn't the Dow just hit a new high for the year?
Still, the TARP watcher's statement was no off-the-cuff crack. A giant, comprehensive and scathing report came out of special inspector general Neil Barofsky's "SIGTARP
" office last week. (Click to see more, directly from the source.) In short, TARP's $700 billion or so has sullied the Fed and the government, failed to prevent future crises and maybe postponed a reckoning with last year's meltdown. Uh-oh.
Related: Calculated Risk reports
(via others) that the homebuyer tax credit ($8k), believed to have revved up home sales this year, will die slowly, under a Senate proposal:
The credit would be $8,000 through the end of Q1 2010, and decline $2,000 per quarter after that ... ($6,000 in Q2, $4,000 in Q3, $2,000 in Q4 2010)
That's a little more free candy, a lot more taxpayer money and then...