How quickly could you spend $350 billion?


The Treasury Department has spent most of the first $350 billion allocated by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, passed just over one month ago:

Treasury has spent all but $60 billion of its first $350 billion.

Most of the spending — $250 billion — is going directly to banks. The banks get immediate cash; Treasury gets an ownership share of the bank. AIG got another $40 billion loan yesterday, on top of the $100 billion it’s already received.

That’s $290 billion in spending since Oct. 3, an impressive $86,064 per second.

And it leaves just $60 billion; most experts I’ve talked with say that money will be gone soon.

What does that mean for the department? Treasury can access another $350 billion, but secretary Henry Paulson has to explain to Congress why it’s necessary. So expect another round of hearings on Capitol Hill, beginning perhaps as early as next week.


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