This past Sunday, I watched the latest episode of '60 minutes'. Though it is one of my favorite tv shows, I rarely ever watch it in its original broadcast (usually catch it online). But, this week it just kind of snuck up on me. The show featured an interview with President Obama and then a celebrity profile of Ricky Gervais (that guy is rich!).
The interview with the President was your run-of-the-mill kind of interview. It wasn't a bad interview, just a predictable interview. But what caught my attention was Obama's answer to an otherwise tame question. Steve Croft asked what the President thought of the bailed-out companies paying back their loans faster than many expected. I figured he'd say he was pleased that the taxpayer-funded loans were being paid back, with interest. But that's not what he said.
The President seemed disappointed that they were in fact paying back the loans so quickly. His take was that it was an effort by those companies to avoid having to abide by certain restrictions. Chief among those restrictions are caps on executive pay as well as bonuses.
Now, I could've swore that the main purpose for the TARP program was to prevent companies from collapsing. And though a few have gone into bankruptcy, most have managed to stay afloat long enough to weather the financial storm. Some can argue weather or not the loans had any effect, but on the surface this is a program that served its purpose, and the President and his minions should be touting the rate of repayment. Not complaining that the companies have gotten out of the grasp of the government's restrictions. But I guess that wasn't the 'intended purpose'. Not according to the President's remark. It seems that the intended purpose all along was to gain influence over private companies and how much they pay their top guys.
And that's kinda fucked up.