On the today show, the figure $900B was thrown around as the total cost of bailouts so far (Bear, Fannie and Freddie, AIG). That is about $3,000 for every citizen of the US. Congratulations!
We entrusted the financial services sector with a big and important aspect of our economy, and we let them run it with less oversight than historically provided. And they made a hash of it, borrowing money like mad men from overseas borrowers and pouring it into ill-considered and ill-managed investments. And now we have to make the overseas borrowers whole, and it is going to fall on the backs of each of us. Many of the senior people in the financial services sector have escaped the carnage and have extracted millions from all of us.