'Bailout Bill' hands out cash in Times Square, where's he landing next?


On Tuesday and Wednesday this week, Bailoutbooth.com was handing out stacks of cash to anyone willing to stand in line at its Times Square cubicle and tell their stories.

"Bailout Bill" listened to the stories and decided on how much cash to dispense. Everyone got something. Most people got $50 or $100, but a few left with as much as $3,000. Bailout Bill gives out $50,000 per day on the two days.

The stunt has generated a huge amount of publicity for the site for far less than the cost of a Super bowl ad. The gimmick seems to combine some of the most depressing handouts in history: Depression-era soup lines and the 1950's television show Queen for a Day that featured housewives telling stories of woe in front of a live studio audience in the hopes of winning a new appliance.

I'd like to see the Treasury Department borrow the methodology behind this campaign, and let CEOs like Kenneth Lewis and Vikram Pandit beg for money in front of a studio audience of Hell's Angels who can vote on how much they get.

The PR spokesman for the company has told WalletPop that Bailout Bill is on the move and planning to stop in more cities, although will remain rather cagey about his identity and the dates and locations of his promotions. "We have every intention to repeat this event in multiple cities, including Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Boston," he told us. "The dates and locations for these events are not being disclosed at this time, but they will all happen relatively soon. All press will be given an embargoed release days before the event so that they may prepare their coverage, however, due to the inherent security risks associated with, "A guy in a booth, holding $50,000 in cash," we will not publicize the event until the day of."