How Much Did That Cost?


CNBC has a terrific slideshow that compares the cost of the current financial “bailouts” against other high budget items in the past.    They estimate the cost to date of the present crisis at $3.4 trillion.   That’s the same cost, in today’s money, of the entire Second World War.

By comparison, the Vietnam War at $700 billion, the New Deal at $500 billion, the purchase from France of one-third of North America at $217 billion, and the Marshall Plan at $115 billion seem paltry.  The $25 billion the Big Three car makers want, could pay for 3 Panama Canals in today’s dollars.

Something doesn’t make sense here.  How can a credit crunch cost the same as the most expensive war the world has ever seen, a war that lasted years, killed scores of millions, and destroyed the economic infrastructure of fifty countries or more?

Where is all this money going?

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