You’ve surely already heard the news that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is going to announce a new and, one hopes, improved bank bailout plan Tuesday. There will probably be lots of stuff in it about a “bad bank,” toxic-asset purchases, cash injections, new FDIC powers and the like. But here’s the really important part (from the WSJ):
To improve the bailout’s poor image, which owes partly to the shifting nature of the government’s remedies, the administration is considering renaming the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program and making it independent of the Treasury.
I’ve already endorsed money manager Bob Andres’s proposal to change TARP’s name to BARF (for Bank Assistance Relief Fund). But somehow I don’t think that’s what Treasury’s looking for. They need something positive.
Hmmm. How about SNAZZY (Stimulating New Acquisitions of Zambonis and Zithers. Yay!)? No, that’s more stimulus plan than a bank rescue. Or maybe GRRREAT (Government Repurchase, Repurposing, Regurgitation or Elimination of Assets in Trouble)? Naaah. Too digestive, and thus reminiscent of BARF.
Anyway, I’m sure you all can do much better. So let’s have a rename-the-TARP contest! To the winner, as determined by Barbara and me, goes a prize. What prize? Haven’t figured that out exactly, but it’ll be some sort of swag we find lying around the office. And if we really like the new name we’ll use it to refer to the program in the future on this blog regardless of what Treasury decides to call it. (We of course reserve the right not to give out any prize if all we get is three half-hearted suggestions.)