Simon Johnson’s article reiterates some well known (now) tragedies:

Henry M. Paulson Jr., Treasury secretary at the time, said the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, was needed to buy those troubled assets from the banks. But this quickly proved unwieldy, so TARP pumped roughly half a trillion dollars into bank equity. The Federal Reserve backed this up with an enormous amount of liquidity through more than 21,000 transactions.

The additional government debt as a direct result of this finance-induced deep recession is estimated by the Congressional Budget Office at around 50 percent of gross domestic product, roughly $7 trillion.

Johnson also praises the dark horse Republican candidate in the same article,

As Jon Huntsman is arguing on the Republican campaign trail, too-big-to-fail banks simply need to be forced to break themselves up.

But we also need to make the megabanks less likely to fail. The easiest way to do that would be to require banks to have enough common equity to absorb losses.

Does more need to be done regarding the governing of the biggest banks? Yes. But Johnson seems like he wants more ethics, less regulation and safer controls. History would tell us  these things to do not all naturally fit together.

 

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