The Current Bailout Plan in Graphic Perspective

December 6, 2008 | By | 8 Replies More

We’ve tried to make sense of the huge barely-vetted amount allocated to bailing out failed financial companies.

Here is a good view, comparing it to other government programs (adjusted for inflation), such as the Louisiana Purchase, Viet Nam, and the NASA all-time total budget:

Bailout comparison Pie Chart

Chart from

Of note to me is how small some relatively small capital investments (thousands of space missions) are in comparison to this current bailout line item. Note that  only about half ($4.6Tr) is accounted for here, and up to 4 times this amount is expected by the end.


Category: Current Events, Economy, Politics, Science

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A convoluted mind behind a curly face. A regular traveler, a science buff, and first generation American. Graying of hair, yet still verdant of mind. Lives in South St. Louis City. See his personal website for (too much) more.

Comments (8)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Given the total lack of accountability regarding this misnamed "bailout," this has got to be the biggest larceny in the history of mankind, no matter how one measures it. In my opinion, after the dust settles on this "bailout," thousands of people should end up in prison, all of them upper-middle class or above, but virtually none of them will end up spending any time in the slammer. Instead, we'll continue to fill our prisons with poor folks who steal food from grocery stores and who peddle marijuana.

    The "bailout" was Iraq II from the git-go. Lots of power-wielding people acting like they were panicking, offering nothing in the way of justification for their past sins and present intentions, reaching their grubby hands into the public coffers, greased by the loot they've been slipping to our representatives in the name of "campaign contributions."

  2. Tim Hogan says:

    W has paid off his politcal debts with the $700 billion "bailout." Now he can compalin about how anyone getting anything (other than Wall Street) will wreck the economy. It will all be Obama's fault in four years when Palin runs as the GOP nominee.

    Bush and Cheney will now retire to Texas.

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    Slate has published an interactive chart so that you can keep track of the "bailouts."

  4. Dan Klarmann says:

    Notice how the background blurs by in the Big 3 ad? Except for one bush in the foreground? Metaphor, or poor photoshopping?

    Sorry, I can't help but see that sort of thing.

  5. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    In defence of the American auto industry, most of the "shitty cars" are either imported and rebranded as American cars or assembled from . At the same time, many of the best Japanese branded cars are entirely made in the U.S. A few years ago, three very similar cars, the Mitsubishi Eclipse, the Eagle Talon, and Plymouth Laser were actually build on the same assembly line in Normal IL under a joint Chrysler-Mitsubishi venture called Diamond-Star Motors (DSM).

    Inspite of the fact that the three brands were mechanically identical for the same trim and option levels, and had the same performance stats, the automotive press continually praised the Eclipse while denoting the Talon and Laser (both Chrysler brands). This was probably due largely to the fact that well over 65% of the magazines ad revenue came from Japanese automakers, and it was well know at the time that Japanese automakers would not advertise in magazines that did not promote Japanes brands over all other brands.

    Another vehicle in the DSM line-up was the Mitsubishi VR3000GT/Dodge Stealth RT manufactured in Japan. The cars were also based on the drivetrain and should have had almost identical performance stats, but the VR3000 had much better performance than the Stealth. When word that Stealth owners were replacing their ecu with ones from wrecked VR3000s reached Chrysler, they analysed a Stealth ECU that was pulled from a newly shipped car and found the firmware was not the firmware developed by Chrysler engineers, but was a modified version that detuned the engine and reduced performance by about 5%.

    This is a major downside in the globalization of industry.American firms are not concerned with long term plans or the impact on the economy, other countries are. Many international corporations based offshore, that have manipulated the greed of the American capitalists, feel no mercy while destroying the US economy.

  6. In line with what Niklaus says, this is also an example of some kind of bias in the press, or at least used to be. Back in the 80s when the whole Asian car competition scenario really took on a head of steam, it was always interesting to note that when a recall came for an American car, it often made the front page of most newspapers. Recalls were equivalent per 100 units sold, but the notices were always buried on page 3 of the Automotive section. I remember clipping these for a long time.

  7. Erich Vieth says:

    Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve refused a request by Bloomberg News to disclose the recipients of more than $2 trillion of emergency loans from U.S. taxpayers and the assets the central bank is accepting as collateral.

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