Just belatedly realized something in crunching the equity- and debt-underwriting numbers:

Between 2005 and 2007, American financial institutions produced $5.4 trillion worth of mortgage-backed and other asset-backed securities not guaranteed by a government-related agency like Fannie or Freddie. 

Not all of those assets are bad, of course.

But it makes one realize how small a $700 billion bailout really is when compared to the enormity of the complex capital markets.

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The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

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