Bailing It Out: Just How Much Is $700 Billion Anyway?

Oh, bailout, you're our new Sarah Palin. We can't stop talking about you, yet we know so little about you. The president is set to give a televised address about the state of the economy tonight at 9 p.m. EDT — but here's the real question I've been wondering about since the $700 billion figure first popped up: exactly how much is $700 billion anyway?

Well for starters, if you count this double-image pic of gajillionaire Bill Gates as two . . . and then add the other 10 of him in net worth, that's how much $700 billion is: 12 Bill Gateses. That's only a dozen right? Not so many. (?!)

To see the whole dirty dozen of Billy, and more perspective on the figure (including Titanic comparisons) read more.

  • The bill for every living soul currently in the US, if everyone were to pay their share? $2,300 per person.
  • The sum of everyone's net worth on the Forbes 400 list is twice the cost of the bailout.
  • It would take the box office equivalent of 381 Titanics to reach $700 billion.
  • Florida's gross domestic product would cover the tab.
  • Though looking forward, if nothing is done to fix Social Security, in 75 years the shortfall of $4.3 trillion will be the cost of six bailouts.

So $700 billion: it's pocket change really. It's all in your perspective — right Bill?