Calculating the Cost of Wall Street’s Rescue

Posted on November 9, 2008 

A Billion Here, A Trillion There: Calculating the Cost of Wall Street’s Rescue

Consider the numbers: $29 billion for the Bear Stearns mess; $700 billion to buy spoiled assets; $200 billion to buy stock in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; an $85 billion loan to AIG insurance; another $37.8 billion for AIG; and $250 billion for bank stocks. Hundreds of billions in guarantees to back up money market funds and to guarantee bank deposits. And who knows what expenses are still to come.

All this financial rescue spending recalls the quote attributed to the late Sen. Everett Dirksen: “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.”

Today, substitute trillion.

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