(Reuters) - The Bush administration wants Congress to let it spend $700 billion to bail out banks struggling with toxic mortgage debt, the most sweeping effort yet to tackle the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
The move comes days after the Federal Reserve threw an $85 billion lifeline to American International Group and the Treasury took over housing finance firms Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
The $700 billion plan will increase the U.S. debt limit to $11.315 trillion, from $10.615 trillion.
The $700 billion is equal to:
* About $2,300 per American
* About $6,000 per U.S. household
* About 85 percent of the New York State economy
* The combined economies of all U.S. states beginning with the letter “A” -- Alabama, Alaska, Arizona and Arkansas -- plus Oklahoma.
The tally for all the various rescue measures launched by U.S. authorities this year runs to about $1.8 trillion.
The $1.8 trillion is equal to:
* About $6,000 per American
* About $15,500 per U.S. household
How big is $1.8 trillion?
More than the total economic output of both Canada and Spain last year, for one. In fact, it is larger than the economies of all but six of the largest industrialized countries. Here’s how that figure stacks up against some major world economies (based on 2007 gross domestic product data):
* 13 percent of U.S. GDP
* 41 percent of Japan’s GDP
* 54 percent of Germany GDP
* 65 percent of UK GDP
* 70 percent of France GDP
* 86 percent of Italy’s GDP
* 125 percent of Spain’s GDP
* 126 percent of Canada’s GDP
(The calculations for average cost per American and U.S. household use figures from the U.S. census for 2007; GDP calculations use the International Monetary Fund’s GDP figures for individual countries for 2007)
Compiled by Kristina Cooke and Aarthi Sivaraman; Editing by Gary Hill
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