Could We Have Lived Without TARP?

Harry Smith
TARP…The Troubled Asset Relief Program is winding down. Hallelujah cry some…Bailing out the banks and the auto companies was insane…Un-American. TARP was born in the closing months of the Bush administration to prevent an economic cataclysm. The subprime mortgage mess had come home to roost and many thought America was headed for a second great depression. The bipartisan solution was TARP. It was thought TARP's price tag would end up being about $350 billion. The treasury now says the cost will be less than 10 percent of that. What angers many Americans of course is that while banks benefitted from the bailout, they did not. Housing values were crushed. Jobs were lost. The fat cats were saved and the little guys got to watch. TARP supporters contend it could have been much worse. Some say unemployment would have been in the mid-teens. So the question on TARP'S two-year anniversary is, could we have lived without it? Would we have wanted to?

Just a minute. I'm Harry Smith, CBS News.