Now I'll be honest: whenever anyone starts talking about finance, my brain turns into a viscous goo. I just can't ever quite bring myself to care about, let alone understand, financial issues. In contrast to general economic matters, like unemployment or trade, finance has always seemed to me to be occupying this abstract space unconnected to the rest of the world, so financial talk has always sort of passed through me like neutrinos. All of which is to say: I don't really understand what the TARP is. But here's my rough impression: a bunch of people at banks on Wall Street did a bunch of coke and dared each other to pull off the biggest scams they could. After the coke wore off, everything pretty much fell apart, and it was necessary for the government to reward these banks with some eleven quintillion dollars, because otherwise society would collapse and we'd all turn into bands of roving cannibals before the summer was out. This eleven quintillion dollar dystopia-aversion/coke-addled banker bonus payment scheme was called: TARP. Is this roughly the picture you all have?
Well, according to DealBook, what this map proves is that not all the TARP money is just going to cokeheads on Wall Street:
Rather than simply list the headquarters for the various banks taking funds to represent where the funds have been allocated, Subsidyscope shows how the funds are distributed on a county level, based on various criteria, like the amount of deposits and number of branches of the TARP recipients.You can scroll over counties on the map to see a bubble that says something like: "Multnomah County, Oregon has $13.7 billion in deposits; TARP recipient institutions manage $12.1 billion (89%)."
It seems to show a very different picture of how the cash has gone to stabilize the nation’s banking system.
And my brain is now goo.