TARP -- the infamous Troubled Assets Relief Program that bailed out Wall Street in 2008 -- is over. The Treasury Department announced it will be completing the sale of the remaining shares it owns of the banks and of General Motors. But in reality it's not over.
I have never quite been able to understand how the decision was made to fire Richard Wagoner at GM but not Vikram Pandit at Citibank. Is running a huge bank really more complex than running a huge automobile manufacturer?
"You can't look at what happened in the run-up to 2008 and see how it's not going to repeat itself, given what we've done," says Neil Barofksy, who became TARP's Special Inspector General in December, 2008.
Watching Bill Clinton help Barack Obama extend George Bush tax cuts -- it's easy to see why Democrats have cognitive dissonance. Here were two enormously popular Democratic leaders handing Republicans their "holy grail" because this is the best we can do.
No one wanted to bail out Wall Street. No one wanted to use taxpayer dollars to rescue an industry that helped cause the worst economic crisis in a generation. It was unfair. It was appalling. But it was necessary. We had no other choice.
Here's the story of a family that had no choice but to stop paying their mortgage. Though they're receiving help from a local nonprofit, it's unknown if they'll be forced out. Their story is one of millions.
If Democrats can't stand up and clearly articulate the nightmare scenario we were saved from, then the economic disaster that Republicans caused may well be the same disaster that helps them surge back into power.
President Obama announced outlines for a new jobs plan for the country. For the first time, he suggested that up to $200 billion from the "bailout of Wall Street" program should go toward jobs creation ideas.
Let's be clear: Wall Street today is up to the same tricks it was playing before its near-death experience. The only difference now is that its biggest banks know for sure they'll be bailed out if their bets turn sour.