Blogs & Comment

$10 trillion and counting

CNNMoney.com has a great tableadding up the cost of all the U.S. bailout programs (more than two dozen of them). It shows the total allocated so far is a mind-boggling $10.5 trillion (U.S.), with $2.6 trillion (U.S.) of that already spent. The sums leave one wondering if the cost will be worse than the disease. How is it ever going to be paid?
When the bill came due during the 1970sfor the guns and butter policies of the 1960s (Vietnam War and Great Society programs), the result was a roller coaster ride in the economy, accompanied by a steady ratcheting up of inflation. Will the bailout similarly lead to a decade-long period of painful adjustment?
Whats perhaps a bit different this time around is that emerging nations are more industrialized and keen to continue growing. So they may absorb a great chunk of the U.S. government debt in order to keep their currency cheap and exports flowing. In that case, the consequence would be further deindustrialization of the U.S. and even greater dependency on them for its standard of living.