The treasury and the fed - in the form of Mr. Paulson and Mr. Bernekie - set that gigantic $700 billion figure to restore WALL STREET CONFIDENCE. And now, suddenly the talking heads are worried that CONSUMER CONFIDENCE is low and people aren't buying. DUH.
They have been using some stern-faced scare tactics to get this almost-a-trillion dollar financial stabilization package/BAILOUT passed - calling pension funds, 401ks into question and painting a picture where your credit card and ATM card stop working. ERGO consumer sentiment is going to get even worse. The general public (the bulk of folks who weren't losing a home or job), they are only now becoming aware of this crisis so we can expect spending AND saving will decline even further. Where will the money go? Check your local mattress.
When the financial crisis of the century is on the horizon -- why on earth do we want to spend what little we have left?