fedBy now everyone knows that Congress and the White House approved an enormous $700-plus billion package a short time ago and that the Treasury Department is rapidly burning through that mountainous sum and asking for more. What wasn't known until the past few days is that the Federal Reserve has been "lending" hundreds of billions of additional dollars to troubled companies and institutions. In fact, the Fed may have already dished out nearly $2 trillion!

Chevy emblemIt's no surprise that U.S. automakers are in trouble. Facing massive costs for health insurance, falling demand for mainstay products like trucks and SUVs, and skittish consumers worried about the economy, the Big Three face an uncertain future.

Bank hoardingOn October 28, as the Treasury Department announced a series of steps to begin delivering infusions of a $250 billion government bank-recapitalization plan, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino used carrot-and-stick language to convince the nation’s banks to lend more money.

AIG signThe American International Group is burning through its $123 billion bailout loan quickly. According to Edward Liddy, the man brought in to restructure the company, it may soon need to ask the Federal Reserve for even more.

Bailout Line upWith the federal government doling out $700 billion of Americans' hard-earned money under the new bank bailout law, a sizeable list of companies is competing fiercely for a share— and it isn't just banks anymore.