Commentary: TARP isn't quite dead yet

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the life and death of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, better known by its acronym, TARP.

TARP was not with us long, first proposed in September 2008 by President George W. Bush. The president used dire language in a nationwide address to announce his proposal. "The government's top economic experts warn that, without immediate action by Congress, America could slip into a financial panic and a distressing scenario would unfold."

While many experts will foist opinions of whether the program worked or not, here are some interesting statistics:

* Between Sept. 15 and Sept. 17, 2008, the Dow dropped 800 points. Sept. 29, 2008, after the House voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, the Dow was rocked by a 680-point drop.

* The financial house of cards on Wall Street was crumbling. AIG was on the ropes, banks were failing and Lehman Brothers wasn't too big to fail.

Fast forward two years. The Dow had the best September since 1939. Wall Street firms are healthy again and trying to figure out how to reward their employees with billions of dollars worth of bonuses, and it seems the American people — that's where the bailout money came from — could break even, according to The New York Times, and possibly make a few bucks.

To read the complete column, visit www.macon.com.