Putting together tape for today's Planet Money podcast, I came across this bit from our interview with China specialist Brad Setser yesterday. We asked Setser whether this $700 billion bailout amounts to real money.
Keep in mind that to economists, $1 million or even $100 million is not an especially large sum. But $700 billion? That's a different deal, Setser says:
:"$700 billion is a very large sum. It's more than the U.S. oil-import bill for a year, significantly more. It's equal to the amount that we borrow from the rest of the world in every given year, which is a very large sum. It's about five percent of U.S. GDP — it's real money."
Bonus: The Planet Money podcast.