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?