NEW! CalculatedRisk Newsletter on Real Estate (Ad Free) Read it here.

Friday, December 12, 2008

$1 Trillion Stimulus Plan?

by Calculated Risk on 12/12/2008 11:22:00 PM

From the WSJ: Meatier Stimulus Plan in Works

Obama aides and advisers have set $600 billion over two years as "a very low-end estimate," ... The final number is expected to be significantly higher, possibly between $700 billion and $1 trillion over two years.
Remember when $1 trillion was a big number?

It seems like ages ago (Dec 2007) that I wrote this:
If every upside down homeowner resorted to "jingle mail" (mailing the keys to the lender), the losses for the lenders could be staggering. ... Not every upside down homeowner will use jingle mail, but if prices drop 30%, the losses for the lenders and investors might well be over $1 trillion (far in excess of the $70 to $80 billion in losses reported so far).
And the WSJ called it "the big number" (Dec 27, 2007):
The global race is on to find the best phrase to describe the housing and credit mess. The U.K.’s Telegraph quotes an economist who says it “could make 1929 look like a walk in the park” if central banks don’t solve the crisis in a matter of weeks.

The report cites the recent prediction from Barclays Capital that losses from the subprime-mortgage meltdown could hit $700 billion. That would top Merrill Lynch’s recent estimate of $500 billion. The Australian newspaper notes that a $700 billion “bloodbath” — potentially leading the U.S. economy into “the blackest year since the Great Depression” — would top the GDPs of all but 15 nations.

Back in the U.S., the Calculated Risk blog sidestepped the colorful language and went straight for the big number: “The losses for the lenders and investors might well be over $1 trillion.”
Now we're talking "the big number" for a stimulus package.

Note: the Bush stimulus package, signed in February 2008, was for only $152 billion.