Topic: “Status of the Bailouts: Are They ‘Working?’ How are Small Businesses Faring?”
This can get complicated, and the links below (organized by me more or less by topics) get into many aspects of the problem. But, understanding basically what the bailouts were and why they were done is not rocket science. I’ll hold my remarks down to 15-20 minutes max to keep us all sane. We can drill down into any one subtopic in discussion. So we start off with a common frame of reference, my remarks will frame three issues:
- Why they did the bailouts — the crisis we faced and how limited the options were once the crisis exploded and the global economy began melting down.
- Who was “bailed out” and why — What were they trying to accomplish when they rescued the banking sector and the auto industry, and passed the fiscal stimulus bill.
- Did the bailouts “work?”
Of course, the real debate is, How can we prevent future such disasters, given the inherent difficulty and Wall Street’s death grip on our government? I’ll research what’s being proposed (not enough?), but I’m thinking leave those details for our discussion.
- Crisis had Many Causes (Weisberg January ‘10): http://www.slate.com/id/2240858/pagenum/all/
- The Bankers Did It (Simon 5/09): http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200905/imf-advice
- Too Much Deregulation (Krugman 12/09): http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/14/opinion/14krugman.html?_r=2&ref=opinion
- Overconfidence by Everyone (Rogoff 9/09): http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/rogoff59
- Causes Plus Solutions (Stiglitz 10/08): http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/11/stiglitz200811
Bailout Amounts and Purposes:
- Interactive Pie Charts Showing What the Bailouts Were Spent On (you’ll be surprised): http://www.theatlantic.com/slideshows/feds/ (note: This was before the auto sector bailout)
Did It Work?:
- It Prevented A Meltdown: http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/delong95
- A modest bill has passed the House; http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/12/business/12regulate.html
But will it ever become law?: http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=whos_leading_the_fight_against_consumer_financial_regulation
- No Return to Normal (Galbraith 9/09) : http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2009/0903.galbraith.htm l
- Seriously, No Return to Normal (Stiglitz 4/09): http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090323/stiglitz/single?rel=nofollow
- A conservative Agrees (Blinder in WSJ 1/10): http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703652104574652242436408008.html