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THE 7.8 TRILLION DOLLAR BAILOUT

That’s the figure the New York Times’ Edmund Andrews gives for how much the federal government has either invested, loaned or guaranteed in order to mitigate the economic crisis (the size of the entire U.S. economy is about $15 trillion). The latest action by the Treasury Dept. and Federal Reserve is to guarantee $800 billion in lending programs. This includes backing car loans, student loans, credit card debt and small business loans.

It seems almost quaint now when the Bush administration and Congress were locked in a battle on a $700 billion financial crisis. The problems of the mortgage markets have now impacted the entire economy. Tim Geithner will soon replace Henry Paulson as Treasury Secretary, but it seems everyday that Paulson is making a momentous decision. One question is if he’s making them with the input of President Bush who is rarely mentioned in these financial rescue articles.-MB

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