Thursday, October 23, 2008

Of TARPs and 201(k)s

Before a few weeks ago, what the initials TARP meant to me were Temple Association for Retired Persons — an educational outreach program that my alma mater, Temple University, offered to the retired citizenry in its Philadelphia community that was run by a longtime close colleague, Patricia Rooney.

Well, not so much now for that name association.

TARP is the Troubled Asset Relief Program that has been rushed into being to help mitigate the toxic mortgages held by the nation's banking system. We'll see how mitigating this whopper of a program is. Neither the stock market nor many members of the punditry or the citizenry have given it much of a ringing endorsement.

Truth be told, I wouldn't argue with anyone who thought TARP stood for Tycoon Assistance Relief Pact.

And referring to new monikers, I'm scribbling these thoughts on the morning after another deep swoon of the market — down over 500 points on Wednesday, Oct. 22. I'm afraid to go to the Fidelity website to peek in on my 401(k). It might now be a 201(k).