The U. S. Treasury reports on the success of the TARP program:
Read the press release here. Follow the links to the full report.
WASHINGTON – Today, in its May monthly Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) report to Congress, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that TARP repayments to taxpayers have, for the first time, surpassed the total amount of TARP funds outstanding.
Treasury’s report showed that, through the end of the May, TARP repayments had reached a total of $194 billion, which exceeded the total amount of TARP funds outstanding ($190 billion) by $4 billion.
“TARP repayments have continued to exceed expectations, substantially reducing the projected cost of this program to taxpayers,” said Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Herb Allison. “This milestone is further evidence that TARP is achieving its intended objectives: stabilizing our financial system and laying the groundwork for economic recovery.”
So, while leading economists are in agreement that President Obama's stimulus program has been an abject failure -- at best having a positive effect far short of what the administration projected and quite possibly having had no positive effect at all -- the TARP program, initiated by President Bush, has been a rousing success.
Most political commentators are not sophisticated enough to distinguish between the two, characterizing both as "bailouts", but the differential success of the two programs says something important about the two administrations -- something not favorable to the current one. Bush understood business and took positive steps to repair the damage caused by widespread credit defaults. Obama simply saw an opportunity to expand regulation and to bash capitalism.
I miss Bush.