A trillion dollars is a million million dollars or 12 zeros after the one.

And that’s how much apparently every program costs to save the U.S. economy these days.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner outlined what he called “a new financial stability plan” to help restart the flow of credit, strengthen banks, and  “provide critical aid for homeowners and for small businesses.” FINANCIAL/BAILOUT

His proposal included a program in which the FDIC, the Federal Reserve, and the private sector would establish a fund, using government financing, to deal with bad assets weighing on financial firms.

“We believe this program should ultimately provide up to $1 trillion in financing capacity, but we plan to start it on a scale of about $500 billion, and we will expand it based on what works,” Geithner said.

Another piece of his plan would commit up to $1 trillion (there’s that number again) to support consumer and business lending with the Treasury and Federal Reserve working together to “kick-start the secondary lending markets.”