I feel like we’re in the midst of the movie Vanilla Sky, where everyone is telling Tom Cruise

. . . Wake Up

Bush gave billions to the banking industry in order to salvage the economy, placing the country in a deficit of $1.2 trillion.  Trillion.  That’s dollars, buckos, Trillion.

The $247 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was established to stimulate the economy by making money available in the way  of credit to businesses and individuals.  There weren’t any rules with the money, no contracts, only expectations.  It was 2008, we had no clue what was coming and Bush came up with a knee-jerk reaction to throw money at the problem, expecting that the banks would follow through and offer credit to the people and the econmy would stumble back to its more pleasant recent past.

Fast forward to 2010, and Damn!  Lending fell.  According to a USA Today/American University study, Outstanding loans to business and plain old people fell 9.1% for banks with TARP funds.  (6.2% at banks who didn’t receive those funds)

Paychecks got larger at the TARP-assisted banks!  With all the hoorah about bonuses at banks and on Wall Street, those guys got more money – the average pay for TARP assisted banks went up 9.1%; non TARP-assists?  1.8% increase in salaries.

And they opened more branches!  I don’t know why, they weren’t there to make loans to the neighborhood.

. . . Wake Up!

Henry Paulson, Treasury Secretary AND the former chairman of Goldman Sachs was making decisions on who got the bucks.  And how many billions went to Goldman?

Here we are in 2010, and now we want to question what they did with the money?  And investigate Goldman and others?  Where were these brainiacs in 2008 when they were handing out money like the banker at a big-ass Monopoly game?

The people who are trying to fix the problem either don’t get it yet, or don’t care and are still taking care of their cronies at the expense of the American public.  If we, the American public sit back, forgive me, fat, dumb and happy, and this continues, we’re going to become less fat, and considerably less happy in the coming years.

Again, it is my opinion that if  you do bad business, your business fails.  It doesn’t get a gazillion bucks to stay in business with no obligation to the customers it has harmed.

I’m telling you, it is worse than sleep-walking.