What Did TARP Accomplish? Simon Johnson In The NYT

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Here is my assessment.

In late September 2008, Treasury Secretary Henry S. Paulson asked Congress for $700 billion to buy toxic assets from banks, as well as unconditional authority and freedom from judicial review. Many economists and commentators suspected that the purpose was to overpay for those assets and thereby take the problem off the banks' hands. Indeed, that is the only way that buying toxic assets would have helped anything.


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