The Obama administration has taken a lot of heat for rescuing banks and other financial powerhouses. But now that the economy is on the mend, writes Andrew Ross Sorkin in The New York Times, it looks like the bailout program "could eventually turn from red to black." The government could make nearly $11 billion on its $45 billion investment in Citigroup alone — plus $8 billion in interest and other fees. Sure, Sorkin says, mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will still cost Americans hundreds of billions, but the improving math might eventually convince skeptics that the bailouts were a success. Here's an excerpt:
"What if, after all that panting over Washington’s bailout of the financial system, we learned that it actually worked?
And what if, after all that vitriol over the government's risking hundreds of billions of dollars to rescue Wall Street from disaster, it turned out that taxpayers might actually lose nothing, or even make a profit?
Could it be? Really?
Every couple of months the Treasury Department takes a moment to strategically leak some good news about the bailouts. It happened again on Monday, when a Treasury official told The Wall Street Journal that America’s coffers would be only $89 billion lighter after all accounts were settled from the rescues, down from an earlier estimate of $250 billion.
It’s enough to make us all feel rich, isn’t it?"