Friday, October 1, 2010

TARP May Actually Make Taxpayers Money

It's been a while since my last post.  I wasn't kidding when I said I wouldn't post anything unless there was something that compelled me to write.

What's gotten my off the couch was this from the New York Times:
Even as voters rage and candidates put up ads against government bailouts, the reviled mother of them all — the $700 billion lifeline to banks, insurance and auto companies — will expire after Sunday at a fraction of that cost, and could conceivably earn taxpayers a profit.
 the once-unthinkable possibility that the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program could end up costing far less, or even nothing, became more likely on Thursday with the news that the government had negotiated a plan with the American International Group to begin repaying taxpayers.
For all the criticism that the TARP program received, I thought voting for it was the right thing to do.  I had always thought that the media coverage of it as costing $700 billion was overblown because it obviously wasn't the case as we knew SOME of the costs would be recovered.

That we could actually be "in the black" on this thing was, I thought, a disingenous selling point.  The payoff was really keeping the financial system from going under (which as we know it didn't although we may never understand exactly how much TARP contributed to this).