700,000,000,000 Bailout: Why Does It Require That Much?


In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.
“It’s not based on any particular data point,” a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. “We just wanted to choose a really large number.”

If anybody still needs a reason to be against one of the largest transfers of wealth from the middle class to the rich ever seen that should do it. Seriously, if that is the best justification for the price tag one has to wonder if George Bush is really Chicken Little…

(Hat tip to Matt Yglesias)

6 Responses

  1. hilarious, sad, and terrifying all at the same time. But completely unsurprising.

  2. It really is just a scam. As with enron, it’s all about running up such large alleged losses that you’re supposed to be “too big to be allowed to fail” but the ‘losses’ aren’t actually lost; there are people out there who have this cash and will get to keep their ill gotten loot.
    People like Buffet and Gates could end this crisis in five minutes, and they should be made to do just that.

  3. @Eddie:
    Buffet warned against this mess. He called the financial wizardry performed time bombs and the financial version of a WMD. He did so 5 years ago.
    Further the personal fortune of Buffet and Gates combined is not enough to plug the hole. Seeing that both have less then 10% (total about 17.5%) of the amount of cash Paulson wants to spend on junk that is marked to fantasy instead of marked to market (meaning it has been given an arbitrary value instead of what it is really worth). The marked to fantasy also means that the US tax payer will end up with another 700 billion added to the federal debt (reduced by a single digit percentage if some other publicized trades are taken as guide line).
    If you want to go after the people who did this then you need to go after the bankers (2.5 billion in bonuses at Lehman Brothers [New York office] just before it imploded for example), politicians/regulatory agencies (repealing Seagall-Glass for example) and rating agencies (Our customers want an AAA rating, if we don’t they go to the competition)

  4. I say let ’em start with 150 Billion and go from there.
    BTW – Never thought I’d ever say the following: “Beautiful Bush Poster”. Srsly

  5. Luv the W poster. Luuks jus’ like ‘im. Sounds like ‘im 2. Have U heard the Colber’ Repor’ on this mess? Turns out the future is to blame. As Colber’ put it, “How dar they will have!” He’s going to have his pet economist come back on the show (now that he’s re-spended it after first suspending it in sympathy with McCain) when the future arrives, so he can blame the future for getting us in this mess. Might as well laff. Beats cryin’ — of course we knew all along U can’t cut Ur income (cut taxes), increase Ur expenses (spend more on war) & NOT run out of $.

  6. Is it too much to hope that we have now heard the last of how great ‘free enterprise capitalism’. It’s dead.

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