$2 trillion has been spent so far on bailouts

$2 trillion still sounds like a lot to me. Presumably $24 trillion (yes, $23.7 is normally rounded up to $24) won't be spent, but the enormity of what was risked is staggering. Did people really understand what was being risked?

A series of bailouts, bank rescues and other economic lifelines could end up costing the federal government as much as $23 trillion, the U.S. government’s watchdog over the effort says – a staggering amount that is nearly double the nation’s entire economic output for a year.

If the feds end up spending that amount, it could be more than the federal government has spent on any single effort in American history.

For the government to be on the hook for the total amount, worst-case scenarios would have to come to pass in a variety of federal programs, which is unlikely, says Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the government’s financial bailout programs, in testimony prepared for delivery to the House oversight committee Tuesday.

The Treasury Department says less than $2 trillion has been spent so far. . . .

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