Monday, February 16, 2009

U.S. Taxpayers Risk $9.7 Trillion on Bailout Programs

The U.S. government’s commitment to solving the financial crisis comes to about $9.7 trillion, enough to pay off more than 90 percent of the nation’s home mortgages.

Forget about the “measily” $787 billion Stimulus package just passed. The Federal Reserve, Treasury Department and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation have lent or spent almost $3 trillion over the past two years, and pledged up to $5.7 trillion more.

Only the latest approved stimulus bill, and the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program passed four months ago, and $168 billion in tax cuts and rebates enacted in 2008 have been voted on by lawmakers. The remaining $8 trillion is in lending programs and guarantees, almost all under the Fed and FDIC. Recipients’ names have not been disclosed. The Federal Reserve so far has also refused to disclose loan recipients or reveal the collateral they are taking in return.

$9.7 trillion would be enough to send a $1,430 check to every man, woman and child alive in the world. It is almost enough to pay off every home mortgage loan in the U.S., calculated at $10.5 trillion by the Federal Reserve.


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