Warren Buffett has a thank you note in the NYT. He certainly owes a big thanks to the taxpayers, after all he put a $10 billion bet on Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) at the peak of the crisis. Without our help, he would have lost his whole bet.
Of course the issue is not as he presents it here. The question was not whether or not the government did something to keep the financial system functioning. The question was whether the rescue would save investors like Buffett, who were knowingly taken big risks with their money, the highly paid executives of the major banks, and preserve the speculative culture of Wall Street.
That's what TARP was about. Mr. Buffett has very good grounds to be thankful that the rescue was structured to make preserving the wealth of the wealthy the top priority. The 25 million unemployed and underemployed people may feel differently.