So now the federal government wants you to believe that the massive TARP bailout will cost taxpayers "just $25 billion" in losses -- that's a quotation from the Los Angeles Times, as I could never put the word "just" in front of "billion" otherwise.
Here's why I think this number is BS:
Not only did the banks get the TARP bailout, but they have also been able to "borrow" money from the Fed for near-zero interest rates, while lending it to you and me at double-digit interest rates via credit cards. That is a massive subsidy right there.
Plus, the banks have been able to use money they "borrow" from the Fed to "buy" bonds from the Federal government that pay rates higher than the Fed charges them. Subsidy again. Think about it: we are lending them the money which we then turn around and borrow from them at a higher interest rate. How is that not a taxpayer rip-off?
So I, for one, don't believe for a minute that bailing out all those billionaire investment bankers was a bargain. I believe we are losing, and have lost, much, much more than "just $25 billion."
But for the sake of argument, suppose the "just $25 billion" figure is true. What does that tell you about the original "crisis?" It tells you all the supposedly "trouble assets" weren't troubled after all. It tells you we were told we had to shell out $700 billion to "save" all those noble billionaires, when in fact the assets in issue were worth $675 billion -- thereby causing the shortfall of "just $25 billion."
Do you buy that? Yeah, me, neither. After all, how many gazillion homes have been, are now in, or are headed towards foreclosure?
What does it all mean? It means the latest numbers, like the original ones, add up to this: the government has no idea what it's doing with our money, and how much it is costing us.