Beast of Burden

13Nov08

What amazing trouble Barack has stepped into.

For all the fury over Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s $700 billion emergency economic relief fund, it seems downright puny when compared to the running total of the government’s response to the credit crisis.

Has his remarkable good luck run out, or is this just the opportunity he wants.

According to CreditSights, a research firm in New York and London, the U.S. government has put itself on the hook for some $5 trillion, so far, in an attempt to arrest a collapse of the financial system.

You can’t be a great president without bad times, and I think Barack’s pretty eager to join the folks on Mount Rushmore.

The estimate includes many of the various solutions cooked up by Paulson and his counterparts Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve and Sheila Bair at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., as the credit crisis continues to plague banks and the broader markets.

If Barack can lead America through this crisis, and get himself re-elected, he’ll be viewed as one of the greats.

The Fed has taken on much of that total, including lending a cumulative $1 trillion in overnight or short-term loans since March to primary dealers through its emergency discount window and making a cumulative $1.8 trillion available through its term auction facility, a series of short-term transactions it began making available twice a month in January. It should be noted that a portion of the funds lent in these programs has been repaid and that the totals represent what has been made available.

Barack’s good luck streak will be severely tested.

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