RESCUE RISING IN COST: The government says the rescue of mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could cost up to $259 billion. It's the most expensive bailout undertaken during the financial crisis.
HOME PRICES DETERMINE BILL: The final cost will depend on the direction of home values over the next few years. If prices fall sharply, as some analysts forecast, Fannie and Freddie won't be able to recover as much money on foreclosures and would require more taxpayer aid.
OTHER RESCUES: Rescues of other financial companies have proven far less expensive than feared.