I agree with those grampas in Spain. They are upset about the German bailout of the Spanish banks. They ask, “Why bail out the banks? Why not use the money to help hospitals and other institutions serving the public?”
Of course, what kind of thinking decides to give money to the organizations who were the root cause of the financial problem to begin with? Is it too obvious to assume that the top decision-makers are all in bed with each other and the rest of us can go sleep under the bridge?
When the banks started failing in the US they were bailed out in order to keep the financial structure, such as it was, from complete collapse. The problem is that appropriate reinvestment has not happened and the housing foreclosures have not significantly abated. What if that money went as repayable loans to the homebuyers who had been sucked into cheap credit deals that ballooned into unsupportable high interest payments? That money would have gone to the banks anyway and those house buyers would still be in their houses. If the government had decreed that the interest rates had to be moderated to hold at levels people could afford then there would not have been the instability and loss of value in the housing market.
Why is it so hard to figure out that stability in home ownership, a solvent banking system and ongoing employment opportunities enabled by reinvestment would keep us all out of a recession? Maybe the question is not who is in charge but is anyone in charge.