My colleague, Dan Ramey, passed along an interesting blurb he read in Financial Week over the holidays about how much the 2008 bailout will cost compared to other events in U.S. history, adjusted for inflation. Those events include the S&L crisis, the Louisiana Purchase, the New Deal, the Vietnam War, and the all time budget of NASA.
All of those combined are less than the total projected bailout. I don’t like to get too political in this blog, but the numbers are staggering. Financial Week is projecting the total bailout (which includes the $700 billion that Congress approved in October along with extra relief from the Treasury and the Fed) to be over $4.6 trillion. You can see all the figures for yourself here.
I think it’s a good jumping off point to engage in conversation about how and why we ended up in this situation. This is a multifaceted issue, with many factors combining to bring us to where we are today. There’s no one person to blame, and there’s no easy fix. I’m curious to see how we can right the ship we’re currently on, and how this affects our children and their children as they begin to take the reins from the Boomer generation.