Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, also known as the “Wall Street Bailout,” authorized the allocation of $700B US to address the financial crisis of 2008. The “bailout” did not pass easily; members of the United States Congress reported feedback from angry constituents urging them to vote against it, and the measure failed its first vote in the House of Representatives. This essay focuses on metaphors used in public discourse to describe the “bailout” in the ten days between its introduction to Congress and its failure in the House. Advocates of the economic stimulus plan relied on metaphors that evacuated human agency, portraying the plan as an emergency measure necessitated by crises such as illness, natural disasters, and mechanical failures. Opponents to the plan extended and modified the administration’s metaphors to communicate a critique of the transfer of federal funds to private entities for the good of the public.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): financial crisis; ideology; metaphor; neoliberalism; public discourse
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