For another view that differs with the self-congratulatory, "catastrophe averted" story-line of today's Wall Street Journal front-pager, check out President Clinton's labor secretary, Robert Reich. "The mega-bailout of Wall Street accomplished little. The only big winners have been top bank executives and traders, whose pay packages are once again in the stratosphere....A few banks like Goldman have officially repaid their TARP money but look more closely and you'll find that every one of them is still on the public dole. Goldman won't repay taxpayers the $13 billion it never would have collected from AIG had we not kept AIG alive....Meanwhile, Goldman is still depending on $28 billion in outstanding debt issued cheaply with the backing of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Which means you and I are still indirectly funding Goldman's high-risk operations."
As I've noted before, Robert Reich's politics are not mine, but I find him a consistently interesting read, so much so that I have nominated him for an "Oppy," the KeithHennessey.com award for opinion thought leaders. I noted the FDIC backing for Goldman earlier here and here.