Pandemic Corporate Bailouts Are a Repeat of History
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FEATURING MICHAEL POWELSON – The Trump White House is refusing to divulge which corporations received more than $500 billion in taxpayer-backed loans during the coronavirus. From the documentation that exists, media outlets have found dozens of massive publicly traded companies that are flush with cash having received loans through the Paycheck Protection Program that Congress enacted to address the economic collapse due to the coronavirus pandemic. Federal Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has claimed the list of loan recipients is “proprietary.”
Meanwhile as cities lift quarantine orders, a new poll by AP/NORC shows that Americans have differing opinions on whether the economy is reviving depending upon their political affiliation. Republicans are more likely to claim the economy is improving. Latinos and African Americans are most likely to say their personal economic bottom line has been deeply impacted.
The bailout of corporations over people was entirely predictable if history is any indication. We turn now to a historian to remind us how past financial crises provided cover for corporate bailouts.
Find Propublica’s bailout list from the 2008-2009 recession here: https://projects.propublica.org/bailout/list.
Michael Powelson, teaches at LA Valley College and Cal State University Channel Islands. His book is Swindlers All, a Brief History of Government Business Frauds from Alexander Hamilton to AIG.