Barry Ritholtz Chastened! (Taste The Sarcasm)

I stand before you chastened, a humble man who is must admit the errors of my ways.

You see, I thought the bailouts were going to be terribly expensive. Adding up all of the direct cash injections, loans, assumptions of debt, commitments, guarantees, and other obligations, I reached the unimaginable sum total of $14 trillion dollars.

As it turns, I was off by a few trillion. Thanks to the frugality of the Federal Reserve, the new total appears to now be a downright reasonable sum of a mere $11.6 Trillion dollars — a perfect bargain, an affordable expense for the new era of frugality !

via Bailout Costs Shrink to $11.6 Trillion | The Big Picture.

To put $11.6 trillion into context, lets add up some major US expenses, adjusting for inflation: Take the Marshall Plan ($115.3B), the Louisiana Purchase ($217B), the Race to the Moon ($237B), the S&L Crisis ($256B), the Korean War ($454B), the New Deal ($500B), Invasion of Iraq ($597B), (Vietnam War $698B) all of NASA ($851.2B) and WWII ($3.6T).

By way of comparison, all of that totaled $7.52 trillion dollars. Hence, the bailouts have been the greatest commitment of capital the US has ever engaged in.

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