The Breakdown | Explaining Southern California's economy

Yikes! How much did the bank bailouts cost?

I was just sifting through some posts at Naked Capitalism when I spotted this post by Randy Wray — and this set-up paragraph from Yves Smith:

Readers may note that Wray cites the cost of the US bailout of the financial crisis as $29 trillion. I’ve never seen a figure like that (the highest estimate I’ve seen was from SIGTARP, which set the “theoretical maximum” at $23 trillion, and that figure was widely criticized. Barry Ritholtz has kept tab over time, and his tally has been in the $10-$11 trillion range). But this estimate is not core to his argument.

ACK! $29 trillion?!?! Here's Barry Ritholtz in 2009, sharing a graphic that shows how the bailouts, adding up to about $15 trillion, stacked up against other major historical expenditures. And above, I've embedded a PBS broadcast on a Bloomberg report about the total cost being almost $13 trillion. And CNN built a "Bailout Tracker" that shows $11 trillion in commitments (but only $3 trillion invested).

And now along comes Wray with a figure that's much, much higher. I'm not familiar with his views (I'll get up to speed shortly), but here's a video in which he suggests that we could be staring down an even worse crisis now than in 2007: