Because “a zillion” would be overkill

September 29, 2008

How exactly did the U.S. Treasury come up with the $700 billion price tag for its bailout package, recently known in the financial blogosphere as “the Splurge”?

“It’s not based on any particular data point,” a Treasury spokeswoman told last week. “We just wanted to choose a really large number.”

Well, that’s reassuring.

UPDATE: It seems that HBO’s Bill Maher first coined the term “The Splurge,” as seen in this YouTube video. Thanks to Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures, an early proponent of the phrase.

10 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Look, instead of 700 billion…why not give the 303 million people in the US…from the CIA website..
Give each one a million dollars…that is only 303 million…the stipulation is that they have to pay off the mortgage, any money left over…pay off all debt…the government is going to tax us anyways,…why not give me something that will help me…and I will be happy to pay taxes on it..I know what a million dollars will do for me…The banks get their money..people keep their houses, cars, and have money to reinvest somewhere else…Stop paying the CEO’s for the work that the working people actually do…


Wes, you need to work on your math skills.

If they gave $1 million to 303 million people, that equals $303 Trillion.

Posted by Paul | Report as abusive


Did you even do the math on $1,000,000 x 303,000,000 =?!$?# ($303,000,000,000,000). Well the first thing you can look at is the amount of zeros we have here and then think about the affect on prices when that amount of buying power comes into the market. This would do no good if everyone got this type of stimulus it would only create price inflation and relative prices would stay the same and that would in effect not change anything and only give benefit to the people who get access to the capital and have the ability to buy real property/assets and be in position to take advantage of the coming price inflation. People should read some financial history and basic law-based monetary theory which anyone can read and understand the basics without much formal training. It would help greatly to give people an understanding on what value and money is and how it affects a free enterprise economy.


Ya know, Wes, I can’t find any problems with your logic. I love it. It would sure be cheaper than 700 Billion!!!

Posted by Rich | Report as abusive

Sorry to disappoint you, (Wes) but everyone would only get around $2,500 of the 700 Billion and not a million.

Posted by James IV | Report as abusive

so if peaple in the us payed $3000 in extra taxes the job is oxo


Can we just give Henny Penny Paulsen a check for say $7000 and a ticket to Hawaii. Hank, come on, $700 billion and no strings. Lotta chutzpah or just plain contempt for the rest of us. I say thanks for your input but we’ll ask the next administration to handle this.

Posted by eddie gove | Report as abusive

Eddie, Paulsen pay packet from 2005-2006 (the big years of dodgy loans etc) was a few hundred million.(source BBC radio)
So he should be paying this back surely before being sent off to Hawaii

Posted by andy | Report as abusive

And they expect the world should be reassured by this?

It’s reassuring to see that Dr. Evil (of Austin Powers) is in control of the situation. I know….. why don’t we ask for seven hundred million dollars!!!!

Posted by Robin | Report as abusive

Why 700 Billion? Why can’t Super Hank give us a balance sheet of where/who/why it’s to be spent.
A zillion is impressive but 700 billion, assuming where 1 billion equals 1000 million, is just 300 billion short of 1 trillion, but still $700,000,000,000. That’s $1,000 per every individual on this planet (excluding siamese twins).
It sounds like the biggest raid on government money in history – no wonder Congress (and the U.S.) are upset.


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