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BW Businessworld

It’s All About Money, Honey

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Come 6 November 2012, US citizens will decide the fate of the Obama government. It will also be a verdict on, among others, the multi-billion dollar American Recovery And Reinvestment Act (ARRA), aka the ‘stimulus package of 2009'. The The $825 billion bailout deal was passed in February to save, mainly, US investment banking behemoths that fell like nine pins. It was, inflation-adjusted, about five times more expensive than the Works Progress Administration programme that provided jobs and income to millions hit by the Great Depression. So, the time has come for clinically analysing how effective the bailout was. And that's exactly what Michael Grabell, a journalist with investigative publication ProPublica, does in his immaculately researched book Money Well Spent?

Why this analysis is important? ARRA cost more that it did to fight the Iraq war. It was bigger than the moon race or the Marshal Plan the US provided to rebuild war-torn Europe during 1948-52. Grabell analyses it threadbare. Where did the money go? Who all benefited and what did the US accomplish with the money? His conclusions might startle many. It does not matter if you are pro-US or not, grab a copy. It's a supreme piece of investigative journalism.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 12-03-2012)