Holy crap!

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*!
Barry Ritholtz sez,

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

Response from the peanut gallery:

#1 - the point is, if we still had regulations in place to keep bankers from getting completely stupid to the point where the entire US economy is danger of collapse, we wouldn't be spending the equivalent of six months' GDP bailing them out.

The Interstate Highway System was $425B (2006 dollars) according to Wikipedia. For ten times that, we could conceivably put a four-lane highway in front of everybody's house - or we could have already built 200+ MPH rail lines alongside every last inch of the existing system. Think about that - the entire domestic airline industry made obsolete with high-speed rail.

If you could just get on a train to wherever you want to go, we would be far more comfortable with 40-60 mile range electric cars for our commuting pleasure. Poof! Our need for mideast oil and the requirement to kiss the asses of people who don't like us - gone!

This is just one example of what we could have done with four trillion dollars if we didn't have to spend it fixing somebody's enormous fuckups. Want another example? For four trillion dollars, we could probably buy every last seat in every university on the planet several times over. Hell, we could found more universities, community colleges, and technical schools than currently exist, and give away every last seat for free for the next several decades.

Or we can clean up a big mess made by a bunch of bankers. That, sir, is the point.

[Pilfered entirely (but with attribution) from Boing Boing]


Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies {...} the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale. - Thomas Jefferson, May 28 1816.

Coming on two hundred years ago. The US brand of capitalism must reward slow learners.