TARP is dead. That's the Troubled Asset Relief Program, Henry "Hank" Paulson, the US Treasury Secretary's, plan to spend $700bn on buying up dodgy bonds from American banks. All the congressmen and senators were told the sky would fall unless they voted for TARP and McCain and Obama had to take time out of their busy electioneering schedules to go to the Hill and save the world.
But Hank has changed his mind. No more TARP he says, he's thought of something better to spend the money on (yes, he still wants the $700bn, but not to spend it on what he was going to spend it on.) Nope, now he wants to spend it in some way that will let 'mericans take out consumer loans, to buys cars and stuff. You see if Americans don't buy cars then General Motors will go bust and that will put one million workers out of work, one way or another. Anyway Hank has already spent almost half the cash on injecting money into other ventures such as AIG.
Actually this isn't such a bad idea. Why bail out the banks? Surely it is better to bail out the American people directly, not give money to fat cat financiers?