Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How Much is $1 Trillion Dollars?

Yes, we know the financial markets bailout bill under debate is for $700 billion, but with money already spent on Bear Stearns, Fannie, Freddie, Lehman, AIG, Washington Mutual and counting we think the real cost is likely already over $1 trillion. So how much is $1,000,000?

$1 trillion would pay for 100 months in Iraq, at the rate of $10 billion per month.

The savings and loan crisis in the late 1980s cost $160 billion, so $1 trillion is 6 savings and loan crises.

The richest 400 Americans have a combined net worth of $1.5 trillion. America’s 75 largest colleges and universities have a combined endowment of $290 billion. The wealthiest foundations have a combined endowment of $250 billion. That’s about $2 trillion So Congress would have to take half of everything they have to cover $1 trillion.

The U.S. gross domestic product is $13.8 trillion. So $1 trillion is 4 weeks worth of everyone working, with nothing to pay salaries, costs of production, or personal expenses, which is a long time to go without a fill-up for gas or food.

The federal budget is about $3 trillion per year. So $1 trillion is 4 months without paying for any government services, including defense and social security.

The U.S. public debt is $9.8 billion. So $1 trillion adds 10% to the public debt.

The total value of all stock in all U.S. publicly traded companies is around $15 trillion (give or take a trillion these days), so $1 trillion is just 6.7%. That sounds better. That’s around what the stock market dropped on Monday, September 29 (makes sense).

The total value of all U.S. residential real estate is around $20 billion. So $1 trillion is 5%.

The total value of all assets owned by U.S. households and nonprofits is around $57 trillion, so $1 trillion is just 1.75% (175 basis points as the money managers say.) That’s starting to sound affordable.

Spread over the U.S. population of 305 million, 305,295,394, $1 trillion is around $3,280 per person. Over a year, that’s just $9 per day.

Spread over the total world population of 6.7 billion, $1 trillion is around $150 per person. Now we’re talking. Hello, world, for just 40 cents per day you can save the U.S. and world economy.

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