Fannie and Freddie's Estimated Tab

So the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Thursday that the cost to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, The People's two mortgage guarantors, could top $363 billion, the

Wall Street Journal


reported early in the day. That's about the cost of

, (minus current war costs, pre-housing boom).  So. Not cheap. Thought of another way: It's


(the super-hot FY 2007 model). More relevantly, it's about $1,200 for every man, woman, and child currently residing in the U.S. of A. Luckily, however, that figure is inflated by the dividend payments F&F are making back to Uncle Sugar. Exclude those, and the real net loss to taxpayers is (as CBS News reported)

—or about $800 for every American. So, no worries, right? But wait! The


's updated story—at the same URL as the earlier, panicky, $363 billion story—says the additional cost is

Barely more than five Paulsons. Kinda makes you go hmmmm. The weird thing? The document on which these stories are based hasn't changed.