Big Numbers

My head is just spinning from all the big numbers.

“It’s not based on any particular data point,” a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. “We just wanted to choose a really large number.”

The Treasury spokeswoman is referring to the $700 billion Wall Street bailout number.  Which in reality could be any really big number, like a trillion dollars or even more, or maybe less but probably not.  Doesn’t matter, as long as it’s big.

I appreciated the $600 rebate check that I got from my government last May.  But given the cause of the ongoing economic crisis I don’t see how giving me money (and spending $170 billion total) could possibly have been a solution to it.  But it was only $170 billion.

Then the government gave $29 billion to JP Morgan, $200+ billion to Fannie/Freddie and $85 billion to AIG and is about to give a whole bunch of money to Wall Street; to the same financial institutions who gave themselves $38 billion in bonuses last year while losing $74 billion for their shareholders.  We’re about to reward their greed, and their failure, with a really big present.

There is one group that has publicly stated

We do not support government bailouts of private institutions.

But they will, along with everyone else in Congress because this three-year-old debacle has now turned into a crisis so large that there is no way out.

So the past 72 hours have seen a Congressional debate of historic proportions, based on a number that someone pulled out of his ass, to salvage a set of institutions that gifted their executives in one year more than the entire budget for the National Institutes of Health.

Hmmm.  Very generous.

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