Wait, Why Is It $700 Billion Exactly?

Congress is burning the midnight oil negotiating over the bailout package, and I bet you dollar to donuts it'll happen soon. But have you ever wonder how they arrived at the magic number of $700 billion figure for the bailout? The answer may surprise you:

In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.

"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."

Whaaaa? Not based on any particular data point? Then why not make it $888 billion - it's catchier and plus 8 is a lucky number.


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Well yeah, it's always easy to be generous with other people's money. I heard today that the value of the bad mortgages was around $100 billion. So where was the rest of the money going to go?
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To clarify, there's a claim making the email rounds that if the AIG bailout was divided among the estimated 200 million taxpayers, it would be 425,000...when in fact that math was way wrong, and included 3 too many zeroes.

Also, while the 3500 bucks may not be as desirable, if each citizen got that as a check in the mail, I would think they would pour it back into their credit balances, make mortgage payments, and buy products. The money still funnels to the rich bankers, without the temptation for them to just pocket it, and leave us debtors in the dark. The Paulson plan is to simply hand them the cash.
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Uh yeah, sorry. That was from someone claiming the same thing on the AIG bailout. I estimate 200 million voters divided into 7 billion to be about 3500 before tax, if they tax. Sorry again, long day!
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