James Pethokoukis

TARP and the 2010 election

September 22, 2009

The following quote is from a Democrat, Rep. Peter DeFazio, but I would not be surprised to hear a lot of GOPers say a similar thing on the campaign trail (via The Hill):

Did Romney flip-flop on TARP?

September 21, 2009

OK, here is what the front runner (at least according to the online betting markets) for the 2012 GOP nomination said at the Value Voters summit over the weekend:

Two cheers for Goldman Sachs

July 20, 2009

The PR folks working for Big Oil have to be breathing a sigh of relief these days. All the populist outrage that is usually spewed at the Exxons and Halliburtons of the world is being¬†¬†redirected at Goldman Sachs — and its gleaming, glittering $2.7 billion second-quarter profit amid the wreckage of the American financial system.

Would America have collapsed without TARP?

July 16, 2009

A fascinating exchange just occur ed during Hank Paulson’s testimony on Capitol Hill about the Bank of America-Merrill Lynch merger. (Paulson admitted in his testimony that he more or less threatened Ken Lewis with dismissal if Lewis scuttled the deal late last year.)

TARP repayment: Letting banks ‘slither’ away?

June 10, 2009

This gem from author and former investment banker William Cohan (via PBS NewsHour):

More bank stress tests an unnecessary sequel

June 9, 2009

Elizabeth Warren, chair of the TARP oversight panel, must not be on the White House email list. Is she was, then surely she wouldn’t be recommending that the U.S. government rerun its controversial “stress tests” on the nation’s largest banks. Warren rightly notes that the current 9.4 percent unemployment rate already exceeds the test’s 2009 worst-case scenario of 8.9 percent and is bearing down hard on the 2010 worst-case rate of 10.3 percent. “We have not actually broken through the worst-case scenario, but let’s face it, the numbers are bad and they’re heading in the wrong direction,” she told the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress.

More stress tests for the banks?

June 9, 2009

The TARP oversight panel, led by medical bankruptcy alarmist Elizabeth Warren, thinks it’s about time to redo the strest tests. Just talked to banking guru Bert Ely about this. He had a number of objections including a) allowing the repayment of$68 billion TARP money probably means the government is already factoring in worsening economic conditions , b) it raises the possibility of reigniting investors anxiety, and c) it continues the politicization of the bank via government control. To what end? To keep the banks under the thumb of Uncle Sam and influence lending. If you control credit allocation, you control the economy.