There’s a pet name I’ve privately assigned to many of the bloggers out there who are so obsessed with covering every story that they barely read actual articles anymore. It’s “Headline Readers“. You know who they are and so do they, so we’ll leave it at that.
Now that the government has just released its official report on what actually went on with the allocation of TARP funds, I’m happy to say that one of my fave financial bloggers has taken the time to go through it line by line and come up with an interesting conclusion.
Writing for The Atlantic Monthly, The Anal_yst delivers a gut punch to those who reflexively spout off that “The AIG bailout was really a Goldman Sachs bailout,” without having actually pieced together the real story.
For the record (and for the umpteenth time) I am absolutely revolted by both the spirit in which the bailouts were approved, the haste in which they were created, and the after effects that we’ll probably be feeling for years to come as a result of the bad guys not learning a single damn lesson. Whether or not the taxpayer is ever made whole is a whole other discussion.
The Anal_yst seems to disagree with the general consensus (and my own opinion) and for interesting reasons:
That’s right folks, I am defending not just Goldman, but the other banks that were paid “effectively par” (which is the report’s language) on their credit default swaps with AIG as well. From where do I draw this conclusion? From the actual report, which I read, carefully, in its entirety. Now, let me be clear: I fully understand the fear and uncertainty that motivated regulators to act quickly last autumn. But as the adage goes, “haste makes waste,” and unfortunately that’s exactly what happened with AIG.
I recommend you get over to The Atlantic to read the rest for a contrarian take on the whole TARP sitch…