Boy: Do not try and recover the money. That's impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Boy: There is no money.
Neo: There is no money?
Boy: Then you'll see that it is not the banks that are broke, it is only yourself.
To continue the metaphor, it's like if a guy conned your family out of their life savings, and then the Government generously seized your home in exchange for paying the guy who scammed you the rest of the money you owed him which you couldn't afford to pay.
Edit: see, for instance, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-fiderer/the-cdos-that-de...
Yes, the government bailout of AIG went towards paying off their counterparties. But those were actual debts that AIG owed because of their own stupidity and greed. Had AIG gone bankrupt instead, the counterparties would not have received anywhere near full payment, and there's a compelling case to be made that that's how it should have been. But this idea that AIG somehow got screwed by having to pay off their shitty bets with our money is laughable and disgusting. If the shareholders want to sue someone, it should be their own board.
Also, I got my analogy wrong. It would be more like if the Government seized 92% of your house in exchange for loaning you the money to pay off the scammer with interest, which they knew you could repay.
Even after the massive swindle, AIG's problem was liquidity and not insolvency - they had enough assets to repay everyone and if they'd actually gone bankrupt, the shareholders may well have come out better in the end, but their counterparties would've been screwed because they'd have had to have waited for the bankrupcy proceedings to get paid.
If the government were a payday loan shop and gouging thousands of independent companies everyday, your analogy would hold water. Till then, this is merely a straw-man argument.
Back in reality, most banks have paid back their TARP funds, as did AIG, generating a hefty return over 3 years to the Treasury. You know what bailout is still significantly in the red? The auto industry. But we hear little about that because those guys don't work on Wall Street.
The industry needed an infusion of cash, and they spread it around a bunch of the biggest players.
Ford ticked up after not taking a handout, larger well governed banks had no such opportunity.
Deposits up to $100K (or thereabouts) were insured by the FDIC, so even under a run, the savers in the bad banks were not going to be left high and dry; and perhaps wiser about where they put their money in the future. Perhaps the Federal Government didn't want to see the FDIC invoked.
Instead, a precedent was set; bad behavior was not punished (by way of market action), and good behavior is tainted by association (via political demonizing).
In all fairness, I do not remember "the auto industry" almost bringing the whole capitalistic system (and with it our Western world) close to a grinding halt, according to what we were lead to believe, in the last 5 to 10 years. And after the gang-rape that GM did over here in Germany and continues to do now, oh yes you do hear about them here.
> a suit is a parasitcal criminal.
From what I have seen, the average folks still buy into the opposite extreme where every suit and especially every banker is some sort of god-like being, far removed from our mere mortal realm and surely a gravely respectable person, much more so than the average Joe. Quite frankly, I find the extreme prevalent on the internet to be far more beneficial because it moves things into a direction where the strange money-fetish has to make way for a more realistic view of this profession so prone to scams, frauds, "gamblings", cut-necks and other shenanigans. It will hopefully help people to view a bank not much different from some regular store, a place offering a service, regardless of dress code.
Also, I do not think the auto industry runs Stasi-like intelligence operations where they constantly collect and pool your most private and financial information and credit ratings and use all that to evaluate how they are going to deal with and sell to you - or potentially put you out on the street.
As someone unfortunate enough to be working in IT in this "parasitic" industry I cannot see this industry getting hit and dis-credited hard enough after they have repeatedly gotten away with much more than murder over decades. There is no reason other than money that anyone works in this and it cannot be a coincident that they pay much more than a lot of other industries; and I don't think there are a lot of other industries with a more backward, pre-history corporate and work culture.
I don't care about "could haves". These industries were all bailed out; some returned a profit to the taxpayers, some are still in the red without a chance of paying any of it back. Yet we continuously denigrate the industry that paid the money back as the "criminals".
>"From what I have seen, the average folks still buy into the opposite extreme"
Really? You must be living in a different world than I am. Just skim this thread, or any thread on Reddit...
>"Also, I do not think the auto industry runs Stasi-like intelligence operations where they constantly collect and pool your most private and financial information and credit ratings and use all that to evaluate how they are going to deal with and sell to you - or potentially put you out on the street."
Banks aren't planning to put you on the street. Where does this come from? Banks want to lend money and be paid back, with interest. This whole debacle worked out really well for them. They only had something like 3 trillion wiped from their collective balance sheets.
By the way, the auto-industry parents run huge financial companies.
>"it cannot be a coincident that they pay much more than a lot of other industries"
Sort of like IT? Or medicine?
Yes, I am. And I hope you do realize that neither of those two are even remotely representative for the vast masses of average folks out there.
Their finance departments were used for much more than car loans.