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News In Brief

A poem about TARP

Daryl Paranada Sep 30, 2010

A poetic summary of where the bailout money went, and how we get it back.

This poem’s about a program called TARP.
It was gonna take bad assets to start,
But then it evolved
And now we’ve resolved
To harp. What about? On some things about TARP.

It was signed into law in ’08,
So the financial crisis we could abate.
And the way that it worked
Was bad assets hurt
So Henry Paulson said look — get them off the banks’ books.

The U.S. had hoped that the banks would lend
By taking the toxic assets from them.
But Paulson’s the man
Who changed the plan.
Its new direction: Why, it was capital injection.

A couple carmakers got bailout funds,
GM and Chrysler both got some.
Then the Obama era began,
Geithner pitched a new plan
To measure the stress of big banks with a test.

But the public began to shout:
Exec pay was they were mad about.
So there were limits
On bonus gimmicks,
And amidst the commotion, a housing plan was in motion.

A plan promoting mortgage loan modifications
Was launched across the nation —
To stem foreclosures,
But they’re still not over.
And more money was dished. Fannie and Freddie? The recipients.

The mortgage giants got a bailout, you see.
And yet more money went to AIG.
Some banks repaid
With money they made.
The TARP funds they got — it was all quite a lot.

And as the program begins a new phase,
Things are starting to change.
Some money’s paid back
And we will keep track
Of money we lost and made. And how much has yet to be paid.

For more coverage on the bailout — and to see charts of where your money has gone — visit our project Bailout: Follow the Money

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