It is exceedingly difficult to convey exactly how much we are spending on all these bailouts. Whenever I start talking trillions (versus mere billions), I get puzzled looks from people. Humans have a hard time conceptualizing any number that large.  I wanted a graphic way to clearly show how astonishingly ginormous the amounts involved were.

So I once again went to Jess Bachman at Wallstats. I gave him my list of expenditures (inflation adjusted of course!) and he went to work. This early Bailout Nation graphic shows the the total costs to the taxpayer of all the monies spent, lent, consumed, borrowed, printed, guaranteed, assumed or  otherwise committed.

It is nothing short of astonishing.

It includes the total outlay for all the bailouts to date. In just about one short year (March 2008 -  March 2009), the bailouts managed to spend far in excess of nearly every major one time expenditure of the USA, including WW1&2 (omitted from graphic), the moon shot, the New Deal, total NASA budgets (omitted from graphic), Iraq, Viet Nam and Korean wars — COMBINED.

206 years versus 12 months. Total cost: ~$15 trillion and counting . . .

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bailoutnationchart

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Note: This was finished too late to make it into the hard cover edition of Bailout Nation, but it will be in next year’s paperback, and whenever the Kindle version finally shows up.

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Previously:
Big Bailouts, Bigger Bucks (November 25th, 2008)

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/11/big-bailouts-bigger-bucks/

Bailout Nation: How Greed and Easy Money Corrupted Wall Street and Shook the World Economy
Wiley (May 26, 2009)

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0470520388/thebigpictu09-20

Category: Bailout Nation, Bailouts

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

113 Responses to “Bailout Costs vs Big Historical Events”

  1. [...] who are comfortable placing more trust and authority in our central bank. Apparently its placing $15 trillion of public funds at risk in one year (yes, that’s around our total GDP) isn’t reason enough to seek more fundamental reform. [...]

  2. [...] Bailout costs vs big historical events [via The Big Picture] [...]

  3. bski says:

    Where is World War II? World War I? Without those costs, this graph is misleading.

  4. [...] Yesterday, we looked at the costs of various one time events versus the bailouts. It took one year of bailouts to rack up the debt totals of 206 years of war, westward expansion, [...]

  5. [...] Graphic: Size of the Bailout Compared to Major Past Expenditures – A real eye opener. Barry Ritholtz Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) Leave a comment Trackback [...]

  6. [...] Graphic: Size of the Bailout Compared to Major Past Expenditures – A real eye opener. Barry Ritholtz [...]

  7. [...] This blog post… well, just read: In just about one short year (March 2008 – March 2009), the bailouts managed to spend far in excess of nearly every major one time expenditure of the USA, including WW1&2 (omitted from graphic), the moon shot, the New Deal, total NASA budgets (omitted from graphic), Iraq, Viet Nam and Korean wars — COMBINED. [...]

  8. [...] the vast majority incapable of conceptualizing such numbers, the following Bailout Nation graphic shows the the total costs to the taxpayer of all the monies spent, lent, consumed, [...]

  9. [...] Cost of the Bailout Posted by Jonny under Economy Leave a Comment  Barry Ritholtz’s blog gives a graphic showing the comparative cost of the bailout, thus showing it is indeed massive and [...]

  10. [...] This is the definition of “cost center.” Puts our costs perspective. (Source: The Big Picture) [...]

  11. [...] The Big Picture Diesen Artikel speichern oder [...]

  12. [...] The Big Picture: Bailout Costs vs Big Historical Events – “It is exceedingly difficult to convey exactly how much we are spending on all these bailouts. Whenever I start talking trillions (versus mere billions), I get puzzled looks from people. Humans have a hard time conceptualizing any number that large. I wanted a graphic way to clearly show how astonishingly ginormous the amounts involved were.“ [...]

  13. stanfordgym says:

    Here’s a visualization in video form:

    http://www.mint.com/blog/trends/one-trillion-dollars-video/