America’s Market Bailout : Some Figures For The Weekend

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A few details are starting to emerge about the proposed “bail out plan” of the US Government. While legislators wrestle with the finer details, here are a few figures to juggle with over the weekend.

So far, $200bn has been spent saving Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with another $300bn to prop up the Federal Housing Administration.

On top of that, there’s with an additional $69bn to buy up the companies’ discount notes, $29bn to keep Bear Sterns alive and $85bn to keep AIG going. That’s another $183bn, taking the running total to $683bn.

According to the Wall Street Journal this “bail out” will look a lot like the Reconstruction Finance Corporation established during the Great Depression.

This institution was set up in 1932 and was partially responsible for halting the three year slide on Wall Street which started in October 1929. It then went on to finance the Second World War and was finally disbanded in 1957.

In the first three years if it’s life it distributed $5.1bn across industry, finance and local government. That’s roughly $61.2bn in today’s money, less than a tenth of the amount the US Government has already spent on finance alone.

And this is without counting any kind of bail out for the remaining bad mortgage debt or traps laid in the derivatives market.

So … what does the size of this bail out represent? Is this a measure of the disaster the US Government trying to stave off?

Or does it show just how unsustainable and out of control the markets have became, when compared to the decadent and excessive Roaring Twenties?

You know we love to hear from you, so post your weekend thoughts in the box below … thank you!

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Picture Credit: “Wall Street Bull” by psd from Fickr under Creative Commons Attribution License.

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