Well here's a quick, but depressing one. As politicians are still debating the stimulus package, the head of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the TARP bailout funds is admitting that we, the taxpayers, appear to have already paid $254 billion for assets that appear to be worth $176 billion
. That's a shortfall of $78 billion that may have just gone up in smoke, effectively. Now, it may eventually happen that the assets we now own appreciate in value, and that money is made back, but this is the key problem with just having the gov't jump into "buying" bad assets. It's almost guaranteed that they're going to overspend. If that doesn't make you uncomfortable about what sort of mess we're going to get with the stimulus package, I don't know what will. The government isn't just throwing money at a problem that might not need money -- it's doing it badly. On a historic level.