July 12, 2024

$700 Billion Debated – $5 Trillion Ignored

When the original $700 billion TARP bailout program was proposed by Treasury Secretary Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke, the American public was shocked.  The size of the bailout request was colossal, representing almost 10% of the country’s entire yearly economic output.  The country’s financial meltdown hit the front pages and caused public outrage.  Realization set in that the Government had been blindsided by the crisis and that interest rate cuts alone would not solve this problem.

Opposition to the bill’s passage was intense and the initial bill was defeated.   The Treasury and Federal Reserve insisted that the money was needed to prevent a collapse of the banking system.  Scare tactics were employed to sway voters minds.   President Bush informed us that the bill was necessary to protect America’s retirement plans and financial future.

TARP was passed and $350 billion quickly dissipated with little to show for it.  Secretary Paulson is now requesting the remaining $350 which will quickly disappear as well, with little assurance of ending the financial crisis.

Meanwhile, with virtually no public debate, the Federal Reserve has put the US taxpayers at risk for over $5 trillion dollars and counting.   This $5 trillion includes direct loans (such as to AIG),  debt guarantees and asset purchases from troubled institutions.

Bernanke, the non elected head of a central bank gone wild is committing vast sums of taxpayer money with no assurance of a positive outcome.  Are we to put our trust in a man who did not see this crisis coming, predicted that it would be contained and is now in charge of solving the problem?    Is Bernanke the savior or the guide on the road to financial Armageddon?

Mr. Bernanke’s predecessor at the Federal Reserve allowed the explosive credit growth and easy lending that fueled financial bubbles.  These bubbles are now bursting and collapsing the world economy.  We now have the lunacy of the Federal Reserve trying to convince us that easy money, which caused the problem, is now also the solution.  Easy money and low interest rates are the only answer the Fed has and so far all it has caused is financial insolvency on a worldwide scale..

The fact of the matter is, the Federal Reserve is not bigger than the US economy.   The power of the Fed is derived from the US free enterprise system.   The Fed cannot change the primary trend of market forces nor can it bailout an entire nation.  All they can do is slow it down and drag it out, as happened in Japan.  The end result of the Fed’s “rescue” is likely  to be an impoverished future caused by unmanageable debt burdens.

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