Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Steeveeo

Perspective: What does 1 Trillion USD look like?

Recommended Posts

Ever wondered how big money can get?

Everyone in the world with a television, radio, computer, or some form of telepathy should know about the US and its 0.8 trillion dollar bailout.

Now, you hear that a lot, 800 billion, 0.8 trillion. It's talk about quite a bit, but what does that all amount to? Just how big a volume are we talking?

I give you: A perspective on just how big it is.

(Note, this is a thread to discuss the shear volume of money that the US is actually using in this Bailout plan, I will not be held responsible for any political flame wars or any US bashing. So please keep those to a minimum, shall we?)

Share this post


Link to post

That made me wonder how much US money exists in actual bills and coins... I read about a value of 760 billion dollars in circulating currency.

If this is equivalent to the amount of hard cash, it means that it would not be possible to put together the trillion dollars shown on that page. You couldn't even gather the money for the bailout :p

Share this post


Link to post

I remember seeing nearly the same page, but it used coins instead. It compared their size and volume with various things, such as the Empire States Building or the distance to the Moon.

Share this post


Link to post
Myk said:

You couldn't even gather the money for the bailout :p

Welcome to the weird world of the money-go-round - where the simple act of having money change hands repeatedly in a closed-loop system (with interest charged at regular intervals) can generate immense wealth without actually creating anything.

Share this post


Link to post

Yours talkin of dat 'dem moneys not be real is some kinda conspiracy talk. That there invisible moneys is made by the Federal Reserve which is only Federal because of dat dere word innit's name. Only their computers can type them magic number digits so dem money is reals and we might as well be buyin shit with Monopoly money.

Share this post


Link to post

Sure gives you a nice perspective of how insignificant you really are in the larger scheme of society.

Share this post


Link to post

damn. I thought a pallet would be around a billion. and ten would be a trillion. not a million pallets.

Share this post


Link to post

It's nice to have a visual of just how much money Congress is planning to wipe their ass with. :v

Share this post


Link to post

Money is an abstract concept of itself... not something you can truly 'visualize'. You could make it seem "bigger" by using $1 bills, or "smaller" by using obsolete $500 bills (or even larger bills like $1000 or $10000, but those are much more rare and were never in general circulation iirc).

I'm not sure, but I don't think the USD is even based on any material item anymore; at least, I know for a fact that it's no longer based on gold. So all in all, monetary value is really just an imaginary concept shared by much of society.

Those paper bills cost about 4¢ each to produce; in printed value, that $100 bill is quite a bit of money (well, a small chunk, but fairly respectable nonetheless), but in raw material value, it's only worth four copper pennies (and those four copper pennies themselves are worth slightly more than their perceived value in raw materials). That alone gives some perspective of how imaginary money really is. :-)

Share this post


Link to post

I watched a documentary on Google video a while ago about the US Federal Reserve and the benefits of returning to a gold standard and etc. It made interesting points which I've mostly forgotten. I don't remember what it was called.

Good story, eh?

Share this post


Link to post

A return to the gold standard (which assumes that the gold's on hand to back the currency) could make India one of the wealthiest nations on Earth - given that people there love to dress-up in the stuff. I'm hoping the global financial system hasn't been crippled to the point where we have to return to a barter system - that'd make paying for eBay purchases a nightmare.

Quick question - does anyone here have change for a Tenner? :->

Share this post


Link to post

That note is fake; but I have a few old German stamps (I got them when I was collecting stamps as a kid) with a nominal value of something like 10 Pfennig over which was stamped "1000000 Deutschmark".

Share this post


Link to post
MikeRS said:

I'm not sure, but I don't think the USD is even based on any material item anymore; at least, I know for a fact that it's no longer based on gold. So all in all, monetary value is really just an imaginary concept shared by much of society.

How would that be any different if it was still based on the price of gold?

Share this post


Link to post

Profound.

Gold does actually have some practical uses, however, and is not valued as it is only for arbitrary reasons. Also, the amount of gold that a government is able to amass can be considered as a representation of the country's overall wealth of resources and labour, which are not purely imaginary and insubstantial values.

Returning to the gold standard would limit the amount of cash that can be in circulation, in a proportion with the value of the physical gold in the government's coffers. Among other benefits, such as the reduction/elimination of inflation, this would make money a little bit more "real," by associating it with gold, which is, in turn, associated with resources of actual value.

Share this post


Link to post
fraggle said:

How would that be any different if it was still based on the price of gold?


I tried to drive that into paulites last year but it's useless.

Share this post


Link to post

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×