When Secretary Paulson and Ben Bernanke came crawling to Congress, crying wolf and urging the utmost speed on the passage of a defecit-crushing sum of money, lawmakers bowed. With a small amount of debate, Paulson assured them that he would buy toxic mortgages and unfreeze the markets.
Well, he didn't buy the mortgages. He invested the money into companies. Guess how much money he's lost in that investment? 9 billion dollars. So, in the first 30 days of the bailout execution, 2% of the first 350 BILLION dollar tranche has already vanished. The future isn't rosy. And guess what? The markets haven't unfrozen. GM, Ford, and Chrysler can't find financing anywhere. While due in a large part to their historically poor business sense, their inability to bridge their capital speaks volumes of the continuing credit crisis.
Let's not forget the staggering amount of money being thrown at companies in bailouts. It's easy to get lost in this language and in the monstrosity of it all, but guess what 700 billion dollars would buy in 'real-person' budgets? Well, just your normal, run-of-the-mill ten-thousand dollar vacation to Europe with you and your closest 500 friends. 140,000 times.
We're dealing with big-time bucks, but this is no trip to the Louvre with your buds--this is high-risk, low-reward gambling.