Twas the night before Christmas with the world in recession,
And Michigan buried 'neath a one-state Depression.
The factories were closed by the car companies in fear
That no money from Washington would arrive 'til next year.
On Wall Street the brokers were packing briefcases
And shuffling to subways with very long faces.
The Dow Jones had fallen to another record low,
And three banks were in 'ruptcy, where else could they go?
Of course Freddie and Fannie were snug in their bed,
And not by coincidence their quilt was bright red.
A third shape, between them, was watching the two.
'Twas their Uncle Sam, to tell them what they could — and could not — do.
The insurers and bankers had all written their lists
But weren't too excited since they'd already got gifts.
The Treasury money that bailed out their firms
Had come back in October, pretty much without terms.
But deep in Detroit, there was a chill in the air,
Because money was tight and cupboards were bare.
(It was especially cold in the Wayne County Jail,
Where a certain large inmate proved nobody was "too big to fail.")
The town always hurt when car sales were slow,
When people couldn't get credit and didn't have dough.
The numbers for GM were nowhere near quotas
Why, the industry slump had even hammered Toyota.
The ripple effects were felt far and wide,
As jobs disappeared and pension plans died.
You would pack up your kids and gather your spouse
To get out of town — if you could just sell your house.
But then what through this gloom should appear in the sky?
Was it a sled, with a driver, a bearded fat guy?
Indeed it was Santa all jolly in red
Making his rounds while all were in bed.
The sled was quite heavy from the bags in the back
Not loaded with toys, but laden with "jack."
"I've got Washingtons, Lincolns, Jacksons and more
Franklins, Hamiltons and Grants by the score.
If you've got money trouble, well I guess you're in luck
Why even this sleigh is pulled by eight bucks.
My printer's been running since early this fall.
I've got the gifts — in a size that fits all."
And so he delivered a bail-out to folks 'cross the land,
Especially those out of work, most in need of a hand.
But this wasn't top down, for the bigwigs in banks.
It was more bottom-up, to folks who said "thanks."
And Santa made clear to avoid all confusion
That these lumps of cash were a onetime infusion.
"By next year," he said as the gifts were imparted,
"I fully expect your recovery will have started."
And then he jumped in his sleigh and rose into the night,
Calling "To all, Merry Christmas" as he raced out of sight.
And like so many others who had assessed the situation,
He left the long-term fixes to the Obama administration.