Wednesday, 22 July 2009

The biggest bill in the history of the world [update 2]

Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the TARP program, says the total cost of the TARP programme – the Toxic Assets Relief Programme that I would characterise as “producing the toxic assets of tomorrow” – says that the total bill for the TARP programme is, wait for it, $23.7 trillion.  “TARP has evolved into a program of unprecedented scope, scale and complexity,” Barofsky said.  HE sure got that right.

Barofsky’s estimates [reports Bloomberg] include $2.3 trillion in programs offered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., $7.4 trillion in TARP and other aid from the Treasury and $7.2 trillion in federal money for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, credit unions, Veterans Affairs and other federal programs.

Just to say that again, that’s 23,700,000,000,000 dollars – one billion dollars multiplied 23,700 times – spent on junk.   Not Zimbabwe dollars, US dollars.  More money than was spent on two world wars put together – two wars that bankrupted two continents.  More money than presently exists in the world -- spent on more “toxic assets” than the world has ever before seen, in a “recovery programme” more destructive than any of its progenitors could have fathomed.

And, to add irony to ignominy, the airheads on CNBC are for some reason getting angry at the guy pointing out the size of the bill [hat tip Fred Gibson].

UPDATE 1: Bernard Hickey spots US Congressman Alan Grayson grilling Helicopter Ben overnight on a NZ item in the multi-trillion dollar bill:

Here is some grand theatre in a CSpan video on Youtube from Ben Bernanke’s Congressional hearing overnight where Congressman Alan Grayson grills Bernanke over currency swaps with various central banks, including “New Zealand, who got US$9 billion or US$3,000 per person” (2mins 31). It’s a fascinating watch and all part of the growing momentum to audit the Fed.

“This will go viral,” says Bernard of the video of the confrontation.  Here’s the first re-infection:

UPDATE 2: And the busy Bernard Hickey also links to this short video to help you get your head around the concept of one trillion dollars – which is less than 1/27th of the total bill for the TARP programme.


  1. You're 3 zeros off there....

  2. 7.4 + 7.2 + 2.3 doesn't add up to 23.7. Still, it's lots.

  3. "You're 3 zeros off there....."

    Oops. That's the sort of thing that happens when you have enough zeroes to start your eyes watering. Fixed now.

    TWR: you obviously overlooked the word "include". 7.4 + 7.2 + 2.3 + 6.8 of small change that's not worth mentioning in the article = 23.7.

    And that, by the way, is another thing that happens: you start to talk about 6.8 trillion as "small change" not worth mentioning.

  4. Small change? OK. In that case, Obama should give me the $6.8 trillion. I'll give half of it back in a week and the US will be $3.4 trillion better off.


  5. 9 billion dollars of TARP money is borrowed by NZ.

    I wonder how this all works. Is the US trying to turn as many USD into foreign currency before it totally collapses?

    What is impact then on NZ?

  6. There's a few small changes I'd like to make...

  7. Glorious! This is really amazing work. I like it and very glad to you. You are the best.Watch a free video on Gold IRA.

  8. I can't think of a better reason to start the revolution.

  9. And the 9am (TRN) news reports that Fan & Fred "need" millions more ...


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