Who ordered the bailouts?
Nov 08, 2011
When the bank bailouts were happening, it was quite obvious that a better solution would have been to bail out the people themselves and let them pay down their mortgages. This would have indirectly bailed out the banks too, because fewer people would have had to default on their debts. But instead, they gave the money directly to the banks themselves.
With the people themselves remaining in dire straits and up to their ears in debt, their credit rating was still too low to obtain loans, so the banks sat on the money. In other words, the bank bailouts did not stop the people from defaulting. It just allowed the banks to take over homes and property without suffering from monetary shortages themselves.
Mr. Bush got the great bailout started in October of 2008, with a paltry $700-billion (U.S.). He anguished over this “breathtaking intervention” in the markets. (“The last thing I wanted to do was bail out Wall Street.”) The Senate vote for the bailout was bipartisan: 74-25. The House vote was also bipartisan: 263-171. Indeed, Democrats supported Mr. Bush more enthusiastically than Republicans (House Democrats favoured the bailout 172-63; Republicans voted against it 108-91).
When Mr. Obama took office in January of 2009, he embraced a radical extension of the bailout (at a temporary cost of trillions of dollars)....
Mr. Obama could have sent a $10,000 cheque to every man, woman and child in the country, instead. People would have spent some of this money and paid down debt with the rest – equally productive uses. The risk-adverse banks, in contrast, sat on the bailout money.