When we say bailout these days, I wonder what image people have in their minds.  I can think of two.
One image is notion of bailing out a swamped boat.  This is th act of throwing water out of a boat, hopefully faster than the boat is taking on water.  Perhaps the boat is taking on water because it is in turbulent conditions, and the bailout is designed to stay afloat until conditions change for the better.  Or, the boat may be sinking because it has a hole in the hull.  In thi case, th bailout is designed to stay afloat until the boat can make it to a safe harbor and undergo repairs.
Or, there is that other bailout image -- that of a parachuter diving out of an airplane at an altitude that will hopefully serve for effective parachute deployment.
In the current financial situation, where lots of companies have gotten bailouts, and this topic is high in people's minds, I wonder what that image is?

  • Buffeting by external conditions, the basic vehicle is sound
  • Fixable problem with the vehicle
  • Vehicle crashing, a total loss, hope to live to fly again

Finance Committee Chairman Barney Frank seems to be working on the problem of how to fix the boat, and arrange it so holes cannot so easily pierce the hull.
The bankers seem to think they have providentially weathered a perfect storm, and now that we are past that, it's full speed ahead.
There are those who think that the wisest move is to bail out of the crashing system.
Time will tell whose image is valid.