Prudent government intervention to support a fragile banking system in 2008, is still vociferously attacked and characterized by many as a sell out to Wall Street greed. The CARES Act now provides US$2 Trillion relief to individuals, businesses, states and other actors. Yet, ostensibly because bulk proceeds go to Main Street participants, I don’t hear a single dissenting voice! As one who had a front row seat on Wall Street and helped shape response to the 2008 financial crisis, I find this rather hypocritical. A bailout by any other name is still a bailout, and I bet Milton Friedman would agree!
The amateur financial historian within me, led me to take inventory of major government interventions then – the major types of action taken, affected companies and governments rationale. I hope this sets the record straight so that we can compare it with the Cares Act. I hope you find this visual useful.