Poetry of the bailout

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In the comments sections, WilliamBanzai7 shares with us his latest subprime-debacle-inspired poem. The creative-writing major in me thought it worth a full post.

TARP, you’ll keep in mind, stands for Troubled Asset Relief Plan–what we heretofore have referred to as “the $700 billion bailout.”

Charge of the TARP Brigade
(inspired by Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Charge of the Light Brigade)

Half a trillion, half a trillion,
Give or take 200 billion, onward!
All in the valley of Balance Sheet Death
Rode the seven hundred billion tax dollars.
“Forward, the TARP Brigade!
“Charge for the ABS Credit Default Swaps!” he said:
Into the valley of Balance Sheet Death
Rode the seven hundred billion tax dollars.

“Forward, the TARP Brigade!”
Was there a politician dismay’d?
Not tho’ the Congress knew
Some guy named Hank had blunder’d:
Their’s not to make reply,
Their’s not to reason why,
Their’s but to do and die:
Into the valley of Balance Sheet Death
Rode the seven hundred billion tax dollars.


CDOs to right of them,
CDSs to left of them,
AIG and the GSEs in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with Wall Street shot and shell,
Boldly that load of Federal largesse rode and well,
Into the jaws of Balance Sheet Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the seven hundred billion.

Flash’d all the workout sabres bare,
Flash’d as they turn’d in air,
Sabring the losses there,
Charging an army of tawdry bankers, accountants, and shysters, while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the seedy subprime-smoke
Right into the red numbers they broke;
Lehman and Bear Stearns
Spared from the sabre stroke
Shatter’d and sunder’d.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the seven hundred billion.

CDOs to right of them,
CDSs to left of them,
Fat Wall Street workout advisory fees behind them,
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with derivative losses, asset backed shot and shell,
While level 3 zeros fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Balance Sheet Death
Back from the mouth of insolvency Hell,
All that was left of it?
Nothing left of seven hundred billion!

When can its glory fade?
O the wild loss charges!
All the world wondered.
Honor the huge expenditures they made,
Honor the TARP Brigade,
Noble seven hundred billion taxpayer dollars.

Barbara!

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