Layout for the Bailout: $3.8 Trillion and Counting

Bloomberg.com reporters Mark Pittman and Bob Ivry are reporting a running total of the money the U.S. government has pledged and spent for bailouts and economic stimulus payments. The total disbursed through February 24, 2009 stands at $3.8 trillion; the total commitment is $11.6 trillion. The Federal Reserve is providing the largest share at $7.6 billion, followed by the U.S. Treasury $2.2 trillion and FDIC $1.6 trillion. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and support for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, combined with purchases of student loans – bailout money that comes closest to directly bailing out Main Street – total only $760 billion – less than 7 percent of the total.

The national debt currently stands at $10.8 trillion — versus an authorized limit of $12.1 trillion.

Last week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner got into a tiff with the rest of the world (denied by President Obama) by telling them that they should spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on their own stimulus packages.

The U.S. commitment of $11.6 trillion equals 81 percent of U.S. 2008 gross domestic product (GDP). The $787 billion fiscal stimulus is 5.4 percent of GDP. Just the two-thirds of the stimulus that represents new spending (one-third is tax cuts) is 3.6 percent of GDP. Here’s what financial institutions in various countries got from U.S. taxpayers by way of the AIG bailout:

Country

Bailout Benefit

US

 $   31.1

France

 $   19.1

German

 $   16.7

UK

 $   12.8

Switzerland

 $     5.4

Netherlands

 $     2.3

Canada

 $     1.1

Spain

 $     0.3

Denmark

 $     0.2

Italy

 $     0.2

Serbia

 $     0.2