Reading the comments of Mish's most recent post today, on the Rapid Decline And Fall of California and I find I've strayed was off the reservation.
A lot of the commenters (and Dealbreaker was toeing the same line) were barking how Paulson made the banks take TARP money last autumn. And then had the gall - the gall! - to make it difficult for them to give the money back.
And I'm thinking: are you f*cking kidding me? The banksters at that Paulson/Bernanke BBQ were telling them how it was going to go down. And the cover story would go something like this: Treasury/Fed is making all the banks take money so no one institution is singled out. Also recall that nothing was said at the time about paying the money back.
Now fast forward to the outrage over AIG bonuses while billions fell out the back door to Goldman Sachs et al, making their bets whole. (By the way, there's more to that bonus story, starting with that Cassano dude - it isn't the red herring cynics think it is.)
Goldman Sachs, knowing the script, then claimed they wanted to pay their TARP money back but Washington wouldn't let them.
Now I'm thinking: if you don't have the money to pay back gigantic sums of moolah, the public is ticked off about same said moolah, you then claim "I'm ready to pay it back. Oh, wait - Treasury says no. Nuts."
How HANDY. Deus ex machina.
And unbelievably enough - tons of people are buying it! People who should know better. Crikey.
I think of that fable of "The Emperor's New Clothes" and shake my head.