Bailout Nation  

Posted by Big Gav in

Boing Boing reports that, historically speaking, the banking bailout is quite expensive - Bailout costs more than Marshall Plan, Louisiana Purchase, moonshot, S&L bailout, Korean War, New Deal, Iraq war, Vietnam war, and NASA's lifetime budget -- *combined*!.

In doing the research for the "Bailout Nation" book, I needed a way to put the dollar amounts into proper historical perspective.

If we add in the Citi bailout, the total cost now exceeds $4.6165 trillion dollars.

People have a hard time conceptualizing very large numbers, so let’s give this some context. The current Credit Crisis bailout is now the largest outlay In American history.

Crunching the inflation adjusted numbers, we find the bailout has cost more than all of these big budget government expenditures – combined:

• Marshall Plan: Cost: $12.7 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $115.3 billion
• Louisiana Purchase: Cost: $15 million, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $217 billion
• Race to the Moon: Cost: $36.4 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $237 billion
• S&L Crisis: Cost: $153 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $256 billion
• Korean War: Cost: $54 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $454 billion
• The New Deal: Cost: $32 billion (Est), Inflation Adjusted Cost: $500 billion (Est)
• Invasion of Iraq: Cost: $551b, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $597 billion
• Vietnam War: Cost: $111 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $698 billion
• NASA: Cost: $416.7 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $851.2 billion

TOTAL: $3.92 trillion

2 comments

Bloomberg recently updated its estimated cost of the ongoing US bail-out efforts to around US$ 8.5 trillion from US$ 7.7 trillion. These already enormous numbers are starting to grow so quickly that they almost need to be updated daily.

Panic intervention...
I also find it interesting that this fact is not showing up on search engine news?


While things like the market crash , peak oil or even global warming hardly scare a guy like me.

But our leaders ignoring the obvious warning and mistakes that caused these are alarming… and the ideas they are using to ‘fix’ these problems are as disturbing as the delusional people in charge of the fixing.


We had a friend last year who took out a third mortgage against a home (he has nothing down on) to buy a ‘cooler’ motorcycle and boat. When I asked him how he could fathom adding debt, to debt to debt he stated: ‘What’s another pound to an elephant?’


$4.6 Trillion? $7.7 trillion? $8.5 trillion? What’s another pound to an elephant?

"What's another pound to an elephant ?".

Nice line - though presumably the elephant eventually dies if a heart attack.

I can't even begin to imagine what is going to happen to the US and world economies now - the situation is just steadily spiralling out of control.

I'm guessing we'll end up with either a socialist model for a while or some sort of jubilee / debt reset with everything starting again from scratch.

Just muddling through seems less and less likely (though I remain hopeful that igniting a cleantech boom while inflating away the debt burden is the best way out of the mess)...

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