$7.7 trillion bailout: $24K per person, more expensive than WWII

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Bloomberg's report yesterday stupefied much of the blogosphere:

The U.S. government is prepared to provide more than $7.76 trillion on behalf of American taxpayers after guaranteeing $306 billion of Citigroup Inc. debt yesterday. [...] The unprecedented pledge of funds includes $3.18 trillion already tapped by financial institutions in the biggest response to an economic emergency since the New Deal of the 1930s, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Bloomberg begins to put this fiasco into historical perspective,

The money that's been pledged is equivalent to $24,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. It's nine times what the U.S. has spent so far on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Congressional Budget Office figures. It could pay off more than half the country's mortgages.

but Barry Ritholtz does an ever better job of assessing "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 (data courtesy of Bianco Research)

[...]

The $4.6165 trillion dollars committed so far is about a trillion dollars ($979 billion dollars) greater than the entire cost of World War II borne by the United States: $3.6 trillion, adjusted for inflation (original cost was $288 billion).

Go figure: WWII was a relative bargain.

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