Throwing a TARP over the mess

September 24, 2008

tarp.jpgHaving been laden with the acronym TARP, the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program sounds like a pretty flimsy rescue operation. Perhaps not since the Committee to Re-Elect the President presaged Richard Nixon’s fall from the presidency have we seen a less confidence-inspiring acronym. A tarp, short for Tarpaulin, is defined by as “a protective covering of canvas or other material waterproofed with tar, paint or wax.” Given the bunker mentality of global financial markets, maybe something more solid could have been equally accurate at describing its function?

You could unload dud investments at a fine, sturdy Bad Asset Repository Network, or head down the road from the Failed Asset Relief Mint, where officials might be able to print up some replacement cash, grown from freshly mowed tax receipts. Then again, if the assets are really bad, perhaps they should just go to the Credit Relief Asset Protection Bailout Insurance Network.

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