Bailout update

The Motley Fool calculates the current bailout, including amounts issued or guaranteed by the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, and the Treasury at $10,155,300,000,000.00. There are just over 305 million people in the United States. A $10.155 trillion bailout distributed equally would provide about $33,296.07 per person.

In 2005 just under 100 million individuals who filed tax returns owed taxes to the IRS. A $10.155 trillion bailout distributed equally to taxpayers would provide right at $101,553.00 each.

In 2005 there were 48,394,000 mortgages in the United States. Rounding up to 50 million mortgages, a $10.155 trillion bailout would provide about $203,106.00 per mortgage.

In 2007, approximately 1,300,000 mortgages were subjected to some form of foreclosure activity. If we more than doubled that up to, say, 3 million mortgages at risk of foreclosure, a $10.155 trillion bailout would provide about $3,385,100 per mortgage at risk of foreclosure.

But the thing is, it's not really a bailout, it's just a very risky investment... buying up credit instruments that can no longer be secured by the private companies that agreed to secure them because... well, because they assumed that nothing bad would happen and if it did the taxpayers would have their back.

And so we do.

(Note: a great deal of this amount has been transferred back to the FDIC from the institutions its release was intended to rescue, so use the above merely as an illustration rather than a statement of facts)