Did TARP 'save' America? - The Week We should be "eulogizing" it as the one piece of legislation that has done more to "save" America's financial system — and therefore its economy — "than any passed since the 1930s." Read an excerpt: No one can doubt that without TARP financing sources would have fled in terror from the banking system. Almost immediately institutions that dwarfed Lehman in size — potentially, AIG, Citigroup, and Bank of America — would certainly have collapsed. Runs on other banks would have followed, causing credit to evaporate in the economy. A depression-era landscape of shuttered banks is easily imagined. Without TARP, General Motors and Chrysler would also have been at the mercy of Congress, whose dithering ways would have resulted in at least one of them running out of money, shutting down and liquidating. If Congress then failed to act quickly the other carmaker would have immediately followed suit. That would have brought down the vast majority of the sector’s many suppliers, already teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Read the full article in the Financial Times (registration required).