I love this here. Today's NPR ran a poll on the current debate going on between Senator Elizabeth Warren and Tim Geithner over the big Wall Street Bailouts:
Recently, two key players looked back: Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wrote Stress Test, Reflections on Financial Crisis, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren wrote A Fighting Chance.Then NPR goes on to compare the two books and responses to the crisis each one advocated, or pursued:
The two reached opposite conclusions. Geithner believes the bank bailout proved its worth. Warren remains outraged that wealthy bankers have not been jailed.
So should the financial system's "rescuers" get our thanks for preventing a Second Great Depression, or our disdain for allowing a heist to go unpunished?
Looking back, Geithner feels validated: Banks repaid their bailout money and depositors did not stage bank runs. The economy began growing in the summer of 2009 and Congress passed a sweeping financial reform package.And then they run this poll asking who won this bailout debate.
GEITHNER: "Our unemployment rate rose to 10 percent, but not to 25 percent as in the Depression ... The stock market has exceeded its pre-crisis peak, so retirement funds that lost $5 trillion during the crisis have gained it back."
Warren concedes the bailout did not become a fiscal catastrophe, but says bankers learned only that they can be reckless without risk.
WARREN: "The government eventually recovered the money it put into Citibank and the other banking giants. But at the time those deals were struck, no one knew what the future held, and the risks were all on taxpayers."
And the rewards turned out to be meager for most, she says.
WARREN: "The American people were told that the bailout would make it possible for banks to start lending to small businesses again and to help relieve the foreclosure crisis. But once those no-strings-attached checks were distributed to the big banks, that promise evaporated like a tiny ice cube in the desert. "
The results (out of 9000 votes)
74% of NPR listeners agreed with Senator Elizabeth Warren, that the Big Wall Street Banks got off way too easy.
Just 10% of NPR listeners agreed with Tim Geithner, that it is fine that Big Wall Street Banks have not been punished for ruining the economy.