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What 1 Trillion dollars looks like.

39 posts in this topic

Up until 2001 (uber crack down after 9/11) the drug cartels of Mexico/South America had problems storing all US currency coming into their control. Rooms full of cash (no room for furniture) were seized in one raid in Columbia alone.


Associated Press: The U.S. government estimates that the cartels smuggle $15 billion to $20 billion in drug money across the border each year.


It is not uncommon for law enforcement/boarder patrol to stop someone (headed south) with a half a million dollars stuffed in their trunk. The Sheriff here drives a Cadillac Escalade that was seized, including an airplane and a boat now used by the department for observation/surveillance.


Thanks for posting this perspective. My Grand Kids have their work cut out.

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Another silly statistic to ponder: At the height of Bill Gates' fortune, it would have been impossible for him to cash out his fortune in Lincoln Cents. There had not been enough minted since 1909. I think I calculated this myself in 2004-5.

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Now, HERE'S the REALITY Check!!!


According to the Fed (Link below), There's only $829 Billion in Circulation TOTAL (That's print and coin), and while they openly say that the majority is outside the US, the popular consensus is that only about 1/3 remains within US borders, which, get this, leaves only $1000 per man woman and child in the US.... NOW GO TO SLEEP THINKING ABOUT THAT!




Save the actual page/link/info, because if it hits the mainstream media, this page will be gone f-o-r-e-v-e-r...


A Fragile system if there really were runs on banks?????

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Those $100 bills are only paper, and realistically, the government "prints" more currency in the forms of 1's and 0's in computers than would ever need to be physically printed. The only time we'll ever need to bring back the $500 or larger FRN (and no, we'd never need another $100,000 gold certificate becaulse our currency will never again be backed by gold) is because it would cost more than $100 for the average small cash transaction, like bus fare or a cup of coffee. Then you know the evaporation of our debt through inflation is well under way!


For some historical perspective on inflation, here's an interesting article I saw today from one of the two nations with the greatest experience and expertise in inflation: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,641758,00.html


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When a Federal Reserve Bank receives a cash deposit from a bank, it checks the individual notes to determine whether they are fit for future circulation. About one-third of the notes that the Fed receives are not fit, and the Fed destroys them. As shown in the table below, the life of a note varies according to its denomination. For example, a $1 bill, which gets the greatest use, remains in circulation an average of 21 months; a $100 bill lasts about 7.4 years.




of Bill





$1 1.8

$5 1.3

$10 1.5

$20 2

$50 4.6

$100 7.4



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Most people do not know that but that is simply an indication of the lack of knowledge they have when it comes to economic and financial matters. This is nothing new.


The global banking and the entire financial system is literally an upside down pyramid with a mountain of debt supported by a miniscule fraction of actual currency (and collaterral). The last number I heard was $52 TRILLION of USD based debt, though not all of it is owed by domestic debtors.


This is why deflation is the real risk now and not inflation. The global financial system is a confidence game (in both usages of the word) which is susceptible to a change in psychology which is exactly what has been happening since October 2007. The negaive bearish psychological forces in place have resulted in the market value of outstanding credit being worth much less than its nominal value - no matter what the Fed, the government and other institutions claim. This is one of the reasons why the credit markets are supposedly "frozen". The government is attempting to prevent price discovery by not allowing these instruments to trade for their "real" market value, which could be 80, 60, 40 or 20 cents on the dollar or even less.


And since the US economy and that of most other wealthier countries is dominated by credit as opposed to physical currency, a contraction of credit has the same result as a contraction in the various measures of the "money supply". This contraction is deflationary as long as it is stronger than the Fed or any other central bank's "printing".


Another minor detail that most people overlook is that most of the money supply is also simply DEBT which is also subject to default. (Examples include bank accounts included in "M1".) And this means that it is subject to the same deflationary forces.


Moreover, most of this "printing" is either simply debt swapping, such as the alphabet soup of term lending facilities, or bank reseves that are sitting today on deposit with central banks that have zero velocity.


The velocity of money is an entirely psychological phenomenon. And as long as psychology remains contractionary, this "printing" will not lead to price inflation except in a selective sense.

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The psychology involved is entirely my point, recent moves by the gov't and major "bailouts/incentives/restructuring/programs" have served to desensitize the masses to singular actions that in some cases have actually amounted to or exceeded all of the US print currency that exists in circulation, much less within our borders (These, without doubt, have served to somewhat offset the impact of contracting credit markets and flows of investment money outside of our borders... but the results are temporary without the near full buy-in of the masses from a domestic perspective) The stability of the domestic banking system remains reliant upon a complacancy of the masses to accept that there is no need to hold physical cash and that there is a level of safety to our banking and credit systems. (From my other post, the 350B or so of physical cash that exists within our borders is miniscule in comparison to the $52T you've mention in dollar based debt and could easily be withdrawn and hoarded overnight... An event that would also serve to crush the acceptability of other forms of "credit" within everyday trade and rewrite our visions of commerce...


Assuming that the domestic crowd can be kept in line, the equally important yet secondary objective is to manage the perception of value held by our fiat currency on a global scale. Different people will derive their perception of value from different components. Inherently, the foolish will focus on the published money supply figures, currency ratios, and "reported" physical gold deposits "held" by various nations, with the reality being that this metal, once stripped of culturally ingrained misconceptions regarding "value", holds limited real world industrial, practical application based value (much unlike silver and the metals within the platinum family -> industrial metals). The intelligent will focus (or will soon likely be forced to focus) on the real power that backs the currency they choose to use for trade. This power lies in the US's existing infrastructure, medicine, technology, ability to supply massive amounts of food products to the world, and unprecedented ability to protect these assets and/or if necessary acquire them via force. This is why the dollar is the world currency and we may have come to a point where it has become necessary to reinforce these facts to the world. We have already begun using fear, one of the strongest motivators that exists, to "empower" people to "choose" to invest in dollars and even in certain banks, with our gov't clearing house to reinforce the "old money", "chosen" institutions...


Managed perception is EVERYTHING...

Food for thought...

+High oil = tantamount to a worldwide tarriff on cheap goods flooding the market (anyone come to mind)

+Also leads to us making ethanol from corn (could have grown crops for food, but didn't - even though it's estimated to take 1.25 gallons of ethanol to make 1 gallon of ethanol?)

+Global Warming has occurred for 10k years (last ice age...) but is now an issue = It's really a global inhibitor to the rapid industrialization of other countries (Anyone come to mind) - Brilliant PR

So we cut their ability to trade, increase the cost of food, increase the barriers to industrialization (Hell, we even branded their toys as deadly:) = suddenly the masses of cheap abundant labor becomes much less of an asset/advantage and much more of a crippling hoard of underemployed, underfed, unhappy people. Political Science 101, unhappy people look to their gov't and = extreme destabilization of the existing system. Destabilized, overpopulated civilizations, degrade further, experience increasing civil unrest, quality of life degrades, and disease sets in... Bird Flu, Swine Flu, take your pick, stage is set... Result, herd is thinned, power is shifted and "whoever" ultimately cures the problems is their new "hero"...


Crude, yes - reality is that within nature, something ALWAYS arises to bring things into check when any population of organism gets too abundant... Humans major threats are humans and disease - modern society has limited the deaths from human to human agression/encounters, which leaves one other choice... it will happen whether we want it to or not, only question is will it's arrival be the result of pure chance or used to the advantage of a particular group...


When it comes down to it, the sytem/world is a game of relative values, if we lose and everyone else loses bigger, we actually WIN... In every such game, the real pro knows how to make you feel like he's really taking it on the chin (playing it up if you will) and having it worse than you during the tough times, and then somehow just gets lucky and comes out sweet in the end, once it's much too late for you to do anything about it....


Reality check link


That's 175,000 calculations EVERY SECOND for EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON THE WHOLE DAMN PLANET... from just one computer that they chose to let the public know about... (175k for me, you, everyone!!! - it knows more about each of us than we know about ourselves!)


Hint: - Do some research on artifical neural networks (computer learning), and then perform a few searches on the us patent office for their uses in communications, internet services, and that fancy cable box everyone's so proud to have... http://www.uspto.gov/main/sitesearch.htm



Everyone wants to live in "our" civilized world, but very few want to even glimpse what it really takes to protect/preserve that luxury...





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I think I agree with the content of your last post mostly. (There is a lot in it.)


In my prior posts on this topic, I have expressed my opinion (as here) that the government and the establishment will not succeed in maintaining confidence in the financial system or at the least, to the extent that they have in the recent past. The primary reason for this is that the asset, debt and credit MANIA of unprecendented historical proportions is over.


If the mania is over as I believe that it undeniably is, then the conditions which made the recent standard of living possible in both the United States and most of the world will also not be sustainable. This will be reflected in the near future likely as a deflationary depression but even if not deflationary, in a reduced standard of living for the typical American and many others. The US (and global) economy is addicted to debt and without the recent ridiculous credit standards, existing levels of consumption are not sustainable. Far too many people in the US have been permitted to consume more than they produce for a long time and without this unsustainable consumption, output, employment, business profits, tax revenues and asset prices will all decline. I expect this decline to coincide with what most people will undeniably call a depression but if not, then the next most likely outcome is extended economic stagnation similar to Japan since 1989. (There is no third possiblity of an endless free lunch which the incurable optimists must believe in.)


I also consider it a mistake to assume that the US will be the biggest loser from the current fiasco or any likely alternative scenario. Most people in the US only focus on the problems here and ignore those elewhere.


That's why most believe that the USD is on the verge of collapse when in actuality, this lopsided negative psychology (as evidenced by the recent 97% dollar bears in the futures markets) more likely means that the USD will soar versus other foreign currencies, even if only briefly. (I expect maybe up to a few years.)


To a certain extent at least, the same applies to the economy. It will be somewhat ironic if an economy which clearly has been consuming above its real capacity is less effected than others which have not. But a contraction in world trade will almost certainly mean that those countries with a surplus with the US will do worse than we will because their exports will decline far more and they are unlikely to be able to replace this demand with domestic consumption.


Eventually, the excesses in this country will catch up with it and cause the USD to lose its reserve status and at some time, the US to lose its status as the leading nation state. But I expect that to come later and not in the near future.

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Another silly statistic to ponder: At the height of Bill Gates' fortune, it would have been impossible for him to cash out his fortune in Lincoln Cents. There had not been enough minted since 1909. I think I calculated this myself in 2004-5.

You have to admit though, that would be a helluva nice collection of Lincolns! :grin:

When all I want is ONE 1909 S VDB to complete mine.


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Actually, here's the real bill (One Hundred Trillion):





What will that buy you - three eggs?





Actually nothing since the $Z is no longer legal tender there, though I've read that due to the unavailability of small change, bus drivers will still accept $3 Trillion for fare, so I guess theoretically this would be just over 33 bus fares.

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Fantastic visualization!


A trillion dollars? No thanks. Someone would kill me for it. Probably my wife.


A billion dollars? Still gonna have to pass. My kids would never learn the satisfaction that comes with a job well done.


A million in hundreds in an old gym bag? OK, I think I could handle that...:lol:

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