It should come as no surprise that what we have been pointing out all along- that the larger TARP recipients were strong-armed and the process was amateur hourish- is less than just a speculation anymore. *Duh* Not even to mention the imperial asston of arbitrary involved in deciding amounts required to "assure stability." ($25, no, how about $10 billion to Goldman... we bet Bald does the New York Time crossword puzzle with a pen too. Now that we think of it, we don't see Lloyd's initials next to any of these handwritten corrections).
This should entirely change the tenor of discussions, and give the lie to the farce that was demonization of TARP participants by the likes of Barney Frank. Think for a minute how off the wall it is to repeat something like "Don't like it? Don't take government money" given the current offer-you-can't-refuse "revelations." Again, this should change the tenor of the discussion. But, of course, it probably won't.
Finance is a convenient scapegoat for the political class. The conspicuous excess with which we have all comported ourselves (shamelessly in some cases) invites scrutiny when the boom times end. Not to mention the fact that the complexity of the business invites simple answers to difficult questions like: "How did you people fuck this up so badly?" In this context it should be unsurprising that the general public and its high school economics education feels qualified to assert that Greenspan's self-defense arguments are bunk. How is it you expect to be immune from the scrutiny of the financially illiterate? (As an aside, do we think that constituency is concentrated more heavily in the backyard of Barney Frank, Barbara Boxer or Maxine Waters?)
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it forced the Obama administration to release documents about the October 13, 2008, Treasury Department meeting that coerced major banks to allow the government to take $250 billion equity stakes. Among the other news, the documents confirm former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson told the CEOs of nine major banks that they had no choice but to allow the government to take equity stakes in their institutions. The documents show Obama Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, FDIC Chairman Shelia Blair, and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke co-hosted the meeting with Paulson.
Judicial Watch Forces Release of Bank Bailout Documents [Judicial Watch via Clusterstock]