'Twas the night before New Year's, two thousand and ten,
And the chair of the Fed, our pal 'Copter Ben,
Had spent the last year giving money away
To save an economy in disarray
Dr. B. had been stumping to get a fresh term,
Though critics were many, and sure made him squirm.
But he argued that he instead should receive praise,
For his handling of the economic malaise
(Yet this is the same guy who sounded bird-brained
When he said the subprime meltdown could be contained,
And that it likely would not cause a recession;
We wonder just where the man got that impression?)
His good pal, Tim Geithner, had also been busy,
Working himself nearly into a tizzy,
Crafting so many bailouts, it almost seemed funny -
Until we considered that it was OUR money
Yes, homeowners got some, and carmakers, too,
And Wall Street firms got bailouts out the wazoo.
Everyone begged for Tim Geithner's largess,
And most of them got it, which left quite a mess
A debt-load our grandkids would have to repay,
And deficits that just might not go away.
But inside the Beltway, what's another billion,
When that number's found itself replaced by trillion?
Now, all of this cash-printing tanked the poor dollar,
Which caused China's finance minister to holler -
After all, he's not likely to give us a pass,
Considering he pretty much owns our ass...ets
But the stock market rallied! Oh, how it did soar!
It rose on each good report, then rose some more,
Turning bad news to good news, it made light of trouble,
Could equities be the next great asset bubble?
And speaking of bubbles, while housing appeared
To at last reach the bottom, it was as we feared:
Fresh headwinds were cropping up on the horizon,
Just when it seemed that home values were risin.'
Option ARM resets loomed; rates were sure to go higher,
And for those borrowers, that would prove dire,
They're on the hot seat, and things soon will get hotter,
Since many of them find themselves underwater
The FHA went on a loan-backing spree,
But so did its loans' rate of delinquency,
Until its reserves fell below that required -
What? Another bailout? We're just sick and tired
Of all of this bailing and spending and debt,
Yet the powers that be just ignore every threat
That the people will punish them come next election,
They've mastered the arts of denial, deflection
But back to our story. On the CU front,
Will Magnus had been most decidedly blunt
In advocating greater transparency,
And he got it. (And no, readers, I am not he)
The biggest risk-takers saw their fortunes tumble,
Which caused institutions below them to stumble.
But by and large, CUs fared better than banks,
As 130 or more of them tanked.
And FDIC found itself in the red,
Resulting in news filling bankers with dread,
The regulator soon would be raising fees,
Bad news for an industry down on its knees.
On Wall Street, executives at Goldman Sachs
Were carrying baggage that nigh broke their backs,
Bags full of bonus checks, bigger than ever -
When will we get it? The answer seems, "Never"
But just when it seems this economic cancer
Is terminal, Tim Geithner has just the answer:
He plans to reduce the deficit. But how?
By using TARP money! Brilliant! Holy cow!
In a year like the past one, it couldn't get sweeter:
This plan of robbing Peter just to pay ... Peter.
If the TARP had been twelve trillion dollars, just think -
We could pay off all US debt, quick as a wink!
It's a Ponzi scheme that would make old Bernie proud,
And yet, for our Treasury, it is allowed.
But in a year like this, that left us so dazed,
There's not much could happen, that we would be fazed.
So what to do, amidst these toils and troubles?
It's that time of year, so let's break out the bubbles,
And hope the New Year is much better - so, then,
Here's wishing you all a great two-thousand-ten!
Brian Hague is President/CEO of CNBS, Overland Park, Kan.