Elizabeth Warren, the chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel charged with monitoring the bank bailout, was on Morning Joe Friday morning to dig in to the newly released unemployment report. The numbers are bleak -- unemployment has surpassed 10 percent for the first time since 1983 -- and Warren is not surprised.
"Let's face it," Warren said, "This is sort of how we went about the rescue -- we rescued at the top and we left the bottom to kind of fend for itself -- and that's showing up in the unemployment numbers."
Warren went on to explain that the report is really about the guarantees the Government made to protect banks' assets while leaving the public out to dry.
"Look, it saved the top of the system," Warren acknowledged. "It helped stabilize it, but not so much for families who are hard hit down on the ground, the real economy." There's always the question, Warren explains, about how you save the top -- in this case, the public pays for the banks' guarantees and the top executives benefit. "We said, in effect, at the top, there's really not any pain in return for taxpayer support. Not so much so when it comes to folks at the bottom. We said wait a year, we'll get there, we'll do what we can."
Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough suggested that it was the old "socialize the profits, privatize the gains" scenario, but Warren took it one step further.
"The way I think of it is: they say something like 'Give me your money, investors and I'm going to Las Vegas and put it all on red 22. And if red 22 comes in -- woo! we are RICH. If red 22 doesn't come in, don't worry because the tax payers will pay you back the money you invested.