"The U.S. Federal Reserve mounted an unprecedented campaign to head off a depression by providing as much as $1.2 trillion in public money to banks and other companies from August 2007 through April 2010," reports Bloomberg News.
The staggering amount far surpasses the $160 billion given in public bailouts to large banks after the 2008 housing market collapse.
How much is 1.2 trillion?
Denominated in $1 bills, the $1.2 trillion would fill 539 Olympic-size swimming pools.
Not being a swimmer, 539 Olympic swimming pools is an irrelevant comparison to me. You might as well measure $1.2 trillion in Libraries of Congress per fortnight.
If my arithmetic is correct, $1.2 trillion divided by the population of the United States (ca 309 million) gives something over $3,750 for every man, woman, and child in the country. My share would take care of my forthcoming trip to Las Vegas, probably a better use of the money than handouts to the banks.
And then even so often, but surely not often enough you get these "Chicken Soup for the Soul", heartwarming stories that reignite hope in humanity:
If I understand correctly, this money was loaned, not given, to the companies and banks, and the loans have been paid out. Also, I expect that 1.2 trillion figure is the sum of all the loans, meaning that if $10 was loaned to Alice on Monday who then paid it back on Tuesday and then $10 was loaned to Boris on Wednesday who paid it back on Thursday that Bloomberg would say on Friday that $20 was loaned during the week.
The terms of the loans were probably sweetheart terms, but they were loans, not handouts that they got to keep.
Someone commented to me about this. They told me the money was loaned at close to ZERO interest. But many of the banks turned around and loaned it back to the U.S. Federal Reserve, which the Federal Reserve paid them 2% interest. Making a profit for the bank. Now the person who told me this is very bright, but I can't believe it. I think that some intrepid cub reporter might be able to track down the truth?