From today's New York Times:
"The first thing to understand is that a bailout plan doesn’t have to cost anywhere close to $700 billion, so long as it’s designed well. The $700 billion number that you see everywhere is an estimate of how much the government would spend to buy deteriorating assets now held by banks. Eventually, the government will turn around and sell these assets, for a price almost certain to be greater than zero."
Hear that kids? "Almost certain to be greater than zero," certainly inspires confidence in me. You can't make that promise to other people. Mom, I know your birthday is coming up in a little bit, and trust me, your present will almost certainly be better than nothing. But, depending on the economy, it might be nothing. (I'll get you something nice, Mom)