I Honestly Thought It Was A Typo!

As I boarded my China Eastern flight on the way back to Beijing from Shanghai on Tuesday, I grabbed a copy of the China Daily to catch up on the news. As I sat in my seat, and quickly scanned the headlines, one in particular caught my eye:  “U.S. bailout could rise to $9.7 trillion.”

Obviously a typo, I thought to myself as I settled into my seat. The China Daily just mixed up U.S. dollars with renminbi. After all, the entire US debt is only slightly more at $10.7 trillion, and the entire United States mortgage market is only $10.5 trillion. How could the total bill for the bailout be $9.7 trillion?

But it’s true. China Daily had it right. On top of all the bailout money, the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation have lent or spent almost $3 trillion over the past two years and have pledged to provide up to $5.7 trillion more if needed.

As an American, I was shocked. Can’t imagine what the Chinese reading China Daily are thinking.

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