Out of Control Policy Blog

Reality TV: Bailout

The too big to fail faux-doctrine may seem to make sense to some people, but only if they have blinders on. The more pundits insist that firms like Citigroup are too intertwined in our financial system to allow to go bankrupt, the greater the possibility that a new "critical" industry will feel entitled to taxpayer money. Banks and insurance firms were the first beggars. Then came the auto companies. Then credit card firms. And cities and states. Next up: TV.

Yes, there is talk that the major television networks might be in need of bailout money because of falling ad revenues. The Big Three car companies are the nations biggest advertisers, and losing their business could sink CBS, NBC, ABC or some other network. These firms provide free service to American homes, are outlets the government uses to get messages to the American people. How many people are employed by TV networks around the country, or by producers that create products for those networks? That's a lot of jobs! In short, if necessary, TV networks could make a case that they are too big to fail that would be no less incredulous than some of the other bailout requests. But ultimately its all crazy.

If you think this is starting to sound like a bad reality TV show... you're right.

Anthony Randazzo is Director of Economic Research


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