The 2012 Summer Olympics will take place in London and the city is already admitting their turn to host will not be as extravagant as Beijing. Britain has nothing to feel badly about; this year's Olympics were the most expensive in history, and it's unlikely another city would top that.
Britain is in the midst of a credit crunch that didn't exist when they won the Olympic sweepstakes three years ago. The government has already expanded their original budget by $13 billion, and says the current $17.4 billion budget is all they can afford. Unfortunately, there's no guarantee the expense will pay off — a Merill Lynch study showed that of the last 11 Olympics, the Games caused financial problems for 10 of the host cities.