The conservatives’ mess

The current bailout was initiated in 2007, before Obama was elected.

Banks haven’t made more loans available to consumers because the Bush administration didn’t tell them how TARP money was supposed to be used. So they used TARP funds as a windfall – to pay down debt, acquire other businesses, and make other investments.

The bailed-out financial institutions got themselves in trouble through shenanigans – such as loans that never should have been made.

Those shenanigans were made possible by reckless deregulation of the financial industry, in particular, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

Some banks are complaining that by 2013 they will have to pay 9% dividends, up from the current 5%. (“What do you mean, you want us to pay it back?”)

Despite propaganda to the contrary, the Obama administration has prosecuted fraud by TARP recipients, resulting in 91 convictions and jail sentences and restitution of over $4 billion so far. More cases are pending.

Most of the bailout money has been paid back with interest, and the rest is being collected. Overall, the government made money from the bailouts.

The bailouts saved many jobs and stabilized the economy.

In summary, conservative policies led to the financial mess of 2007-2008; Obama has done a fairly good job of administering the bailouts. And now conservatives are trying to convince you that the bailout was all a Democrat fiasco and that we need more deregulation.

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