Instead of Bailout, Refund All Corporate Taxes?

Here's quiz to test your mastery of exorbitant expenses.

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How many zeroes is that again?

It's getting hard to comprehend just how much money it will take to rescue ailing financial firms and avert the economic disaster President Bush predicts if a bailout doesn't materialize. All told, the proposed $700 billion bailout package, plus the cost of rescues for Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, and the three Detroit auto companies, exceeds $1 trillion. How much is that, exactly? Test your mastery of exorbitant figures with this quiz:

  1. $1 trillion is roughly equivalent to:
    1. How many years' worth of corporate income tax payments would it take to pay for a $1 trillion bailout?
      1. How many U.S. banks have failed so far in 2008?
        1. How many banks failed during the savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s and were taken over by the Resolution Trust Corp.?
          1. Approximately how many banks failed from 1929 to 1933, during the Great Depression?
            1. The private equity firm TPG invested $2 billion in Washington Mutual in April to help stabilize the ailing thrift. On September 25, WaMu became insolvent, and the FDIC seized it and sold $1.9 billion of its assets to JPMorgan Chase. How much of its $2 billion does TPG get back from the deal?
              1. Approximately how much in shareholder value at insurance giant AIG has been destroyed this year?
                1. Hank Greenberg, the former CEO of AIG, is the company's biggest shareholder, with 355 million shares, as of May. How much money has Greenberg lost this year?
                  1. So far in September, the S&P 500 has fallen by about 6 percent. Which component of the index has fallen the most?
                    1. What comes after a trillion?
                      1. Go to answers >>

                        TAGS:
                        government intervention
                        corporate taxes
                        taxes
                        • Rick Newman

                          Rick Newman is the author of Rebounders: How Winners Pivot From Setback to Success and the co-author of two other books. Follow him on Twitter or e-mail him at rnewman@usnews.com.

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