How the Coronavirus Bailout Repeats 2008’s Mistakes: Huge Corporate Payoffs With Little AccountabilityBreaking News
tags: Economic Policy, coronavirus, COVID-19, Bailout, Financial sector
In 2008, the first of the once-in-a-lifetime economic calamities of most of our lifetimes engulfed the country and the world. Now, just over a decade later, we get to experience the second.
How well the country responded to the 2008 global financial crisis is still subject to debate. After the crisis peaked in September 2008 and the government intervened with various bailout programs, the financial system and corporate America stabilized. Corporate profits were rising again by the second half of 2009.
Almost everything else is in dispute. Did the efforts to save the economy do enough to help average Americans? The global financial crisis of 2008 threw millions out of their home and jobs. The Obama administration designed programs to help people to stay in their home, but they were spectacular disappointments. The median household income stayed below where it was in 2007 (and in 2000) until 2016.
But at least the Great Recession taught the country two broad-brush lessons: Bailouts should help working Americans, and the financial system should be made more resilient to shocks.
Or so we thought. Still in the early stages of the pandemic economic fallout, we are already replicating many of the same mistakes from 2008.
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