The document proposing the largest financial bailout in U.S. history is refreshing concise. You can read it here.
It gives the Secretary of The Treasury enormous power:
(a) Authority to Purchase.–The Secretary is authorized to purchase, and to make and fund commitments to purchase, on such terms and conditions as determined by the Secretary, mortgage-related assets from any financial institution having its headquarters in the United States.
but the taxpayer is considered:
In exercising the authorities granted in this Act, the Secretary shall take into consideration means for–
(1) providing stability or preventing disruption to the financial markets or banking system; and
(2) protecting the taxpayer.
Note that the taxpayer is #2 on that list 😆
And an awful lot of zeros are postulated:
Sec. 6. Maximum Amount of Authorized Purchases.
The Secretary's authority to purchase mortgage-related assets under this Act shall be limited to $700,000,000,000 outstanding at any one time
As we well know, any amount set in a government document is usually only a starting point, and I am sure this will balloon as well.
Oh well. A pretty mess we are in.