The late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who served as a special assistant to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for Afghanistan and Pakistan, told a group of journalists in Washington last year that he re-learned the meaning of "moral hazard" after meeting with Pakistani ministers on his first "official" swing through the country in 2009.
The Pakistani ministers had been reading up on the financial news from America; bail-out after bail-out of failing and failed institutions, brought back from the dead only because they were deemed "too big to fail."
Pakistan, these officials reasoned, was way too big to fail. Pakistan had nuclear weapons, it was failing on almost every level, and those two facts, combined, entitled Pakistan to a massive bail-out. Holbrooke said that one minister he met with was literally rubbing his hands together in anticipation of counting all the loot that would almost certainly be coming his way.
Right he was. Officially, since 2007, the amount of US foreign aid to Pakistan has quadrupled (from roughly $750 million in 2007 to over $3 billion 2011). And that doesn't count the military, intelligence and operational support that the US provides out of its "opaque" and "black" budgets. If you added it all up, the total amount of US aid to Pakistan would make your head spin.