Country divided on whether bank bailouts helped or hurt economy

May 27, 2014, 3:53 PM GMT+0

40% of Republicans say that the 2008 bailouts made today's economy worse, while most of the country don't think that current financial regulations are enforced effectively

Timothy Geithner, the first Secretary of the Treasury in the Obama administration, has recently published his memoirs. The book, appropriately called 'Stress Test', covers much of his life but predominantly focuses on the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath. The book is a spirited defense of his actions during the crisis, including the bailouts of banks and insurance companies that he presided over as head of the New York Federal Reserve.

The latest research from YouGov shows that only a third of Americans think that the bailouts of 2008 ensured that the economy is in better shape today than it otherwise would have been. 24% say that the bailouts had little impact on today's economy, while 25% said that the economy would be better today without any bailout. There are distinct partisan differences, however, as Republicans (40%) tend to say that the economy today would have been better without the bailouts, while just under half of Democrats say that the economy would have been worse.

Looking at whether financial markets should be more regulated by the federal government, 34% of the public say that banks should face tougher rules. 21% say that current rules are good and 24% think that the federal government should step back and free financial markets from certain regulations.

Asked about current regulation, most Americans (54%) do not think that today's rules are effectively enforced by financial regulators. Only 11% have confidence that regulators are effectively enforcing regulations.

Full poll results can be found here.

Image: Getty