TARP, the Troubled Assets Relief Plan, was incredibly unpopular amongst Americans. It was projected to cost $700 BILLION, but the companies bailed out were required to pay back the relief funds.
And they have. Mostly. TARP served to prevent global economic collapse by propping up the banking system. It worked. It prevented our Great Recession from becoming a Great Depression.
But the problem here is that the media narrative is set. TARP was BAD and WRONG, is what everyone says. Like it was some huge mistake to prevent the financial system from falling apart. The media loves their narratives and when a fact doesn't the narrative? It gets discarded
. This, truly, is one of the great failures of the American media. When school violence is at a 20-year low, it doesn't get reported. When there is no reason at all to invade Iraq or even Afghanistan, it doesn't get mentioned. So much news is shaped by narratives that veer farther and farther away from truth. The legacy of TARP--politicians refusing to bailout industries, even if the damage prevented would be monumental--is wrapped up in its narrative, and that narrative is setting like cement around a lie.
Good TARP News Doesn't Fit; Media Are Flummoxed : It's All Politics : NPR
What do we do with the end of TARP?
And what do we do with the news that TARP will not have cost anything like the $700 billion we thought it would? What if it really cost $50 billion, or less?
What if, in the end, the Troubled Asset Relief Program so controversial at birth and vilified throughout its two years of life turns out to have turned a profit for the government and the taxpayer?
We — most of the news media this is — simply don't know what to do with this news.
The suggestion that TARP did not blow a hole in the federal budget potentially blows a hole in some other presumptions as well. Economists will argue for years over the necessity of TARP, and the rest of us can argue over the bonuses investment bankers still got (and continue to get).