The Corner

Yowza

Barry Ritzholtz, one of the better financial bloggers out there, has run the numbers:

Whenever I discussed the current bailout situation with people, I find they have a hard time comprehending the actual numbers involved. That became a problem while doing the research for the Bailout Nation book. I needed some way to put this 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.

Jim Bianco of Bianco Research crunched the inflation adjusted numbers. 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

The only expenditure that comes close is WWII, and even that cost less.

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