The US Treasury is poised to commit large sums – perhaps exceeding $100 billion – in its rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but the real cost to American taxpayers won't be known for years.
The tab will depend on how Washington runs these mortgage giants and how the housing market and economy perform.
A wide range of outcomes is possible, because the size of Fannie and Freddie is so large. With a $5 trillion book of home loans that they own, or have guaranteed, fractional changes in foreclosure rates can translate into tens of billions very quickly.
In a worst case, the cost could run well above the roughly $125 billion that taxpayers spent in the early 1990s to insure depositors in failed savings-and-loan institutions, some mortgage-market experts say.
But the stock market recovered spectacularly today, worldwide, you say.
Good point. That looked like good news last night, but tonight the tide has turned.
Tomorrow (AKA tonight in the USA) Asia is tanking the day after the big worldwide runup. View the gory details here.
It may turn out that the $125 billion bailout will not do the trick. That debt, your grandkids will be paying for decades, was no more than a 24-hour sugar rush to the world markets.
They know how unstable the US financial scene is. One day the world may divest from the USA, then we are really screwed.
I hope the Chinese keep sending us fresh underwear. Because we don't make that domestically anymore.
I think I finally understand Republican Economics 101. When an institution is making money hand over fist, it is a private enterprise. When it tanks, it becomes part of the public sector.
Bailout after bailout.
The story of Dubya's sorry life.
UPDATE: As usual, the foreign press tell it like it is.
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au... (h/t AggieDemocrat)