I commented on the Wall Street Journal's blog, Mean Street. The poster posited that Hank Paulson should be declared a national hero owing to his creation of the TARP program. I agreed:
Clearly, TARP was needed to prevent an imminent systemic banking collapse, and Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke are the heros. You’re right on the mark about these particular saviors. Systemic risk means that we end up living in caves.
TALF is the proximate driver of reliquification, but it couldn’t have happened without TARP.
As an Austro-Libertarian, I hate government involvement in anything, since government is inherently anti-consumer, but TARP was needed to patch things together during the unwinding of Greenspan’s debt orgy.
Yes, Paulson is a hero, but Bernanke joins him in that particular Hall of Fame. Bernanke lent the TARP program the intellectual weight that it needed to get folks like me to endorse the plan. Paulson isn't a dummy, but his understandable incentive to defecate on Goldman's competitors would have colored my view of the TARP program had he been its sole sponsor.