Tag: "TARP"

Fiscal Cliff Negotiator Timothy Geithner is the Right Man for the Job

The President has designated Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to head his administration’s team in the fiscal cliff negotiations. In my opinion, this is the most-best or least-worse choice he could have made from the perspective of getting a reasonable deal done. I base that not on my years serving with Tim on the FOMC—which were […]

The New York Times/CBS Poll and My Advice for the President

The front page of today’s New York Times reports on the results from the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. It is largely about who polls the lowest between President Obama and the Congress, President Obama and the Republicans, and Republicans versus Democrats. It made me wonder whether poll results can go below zero. Here […]

The Big Bad Banks: The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

First, we see our government low-balling the expected returns for the Tarp investments in banks so that an additional tax on banks can be justified—including banks that never receive the investments and excluding nonbanks that did. Now proprietary trading is verboten even though there is no evidence that it had anything to do with the […]

The War on Banks

Getting Curiouser and Curiouser   Many mistakes were made during the Great Depression of the 1930s, and we seem determined to repeat all of them. They include starting a trade war with Smoot-Hawley, raising marginal tax rates in the middle of the depression, tightening monetary policy through misinterpretation of the meaning of excess bank reserves, […]

TARP Thoughts

 A couple of people have mentioned to me that the TARP repayments are all over the news and suggested that I write about it. My response has been that I didn’t know how to avoid saying I told you so. I’ve written and said often that TARP would produce a profit for taxpayers, or only […]

Bailouts and Moral Hazard

Notes made for remarks to the Federalist Society on November 13, 2009  It’s an honor to be on this panel with all these distinguished people. But I’m afraid I was invited because I’m considered soft on bailouts. That’s a terrible reputation to have. What is it they say about poker? “If you look around the […]

Well, Are the Banks Weak or Strong?

Good question. Many have received injections of capital (purchases of preferred stock) through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), yet many large banks announced large profits this week. If this week's announcements were all I knew about it, I'd be very confused. But, my answer is…

Bankers in the Lion’s Den

“Don’t forget, there’s a big gladiator show coming up the day after tomorrow. Not the same old fighters either. They’ve got a fresh shipment in. There’s not a slave in that batch. Just wait. There’ll be cold steel for the crowd, no quarter and the amphitheatre will end up looking like a slaughterhouse. There’s even […]

Burning Money

More Stimulus May Not Be Worth It   In my last post I made a brief comparison of the TARP and a stimulus package. My principal point was that most TARP activities by the government represent investments that can be sold later under better circumstances and may even turn a profit for taxpayers. Another stimulus […]

Stimulus-II versus TARP-II

As if we are conducting a lab experiment, we suddenly have the sequels to the two major government programs to deal with the financial crisis and mitigate the real economic fallout. We still, however, don't know the devil in the details, but, while we await more information, let me make a couple of points about […]