What does a Trillion dollars look like?

A fun read to wrap your head around...

Last week the Federal Reserve decided to inject ANOTHER trillion dollars to buy treasury bonds and mortgage securities. In other words they simply decided to print another trillion dollars. So I thought you might enjoy these illustrations to help you put that number into perspective:



Counting by Hundreds



Think of a simple $100 bill.  It is only 0.0043 inches thick, very compact.



One hundred $100 bills, worth $10,000, creates a stack less than 1/2 inch thick



One million dollars can fit in a large women’s tote bag or a camping backpack.  It weighs about 22 pounds.



$100 million dollars, about a ton’s worth of dollars, can fit on a standard shipping pallet.


$1 billion dollars, then, would require 10 pallets’ worth of space.  Still very compact for a reasonable sum of money.



Finally, here’s one trillion dollars:

One trillion dollars would cover a football field with $100 bills stacked eight feet deep.



But Each Dollar Counts


If one thinks of the actual single dollars that make up this enormous sum of money that the Federal Reserve has so freely injected into the economy, however, the problem becomes even clearer.


How does it stack up?

One dollar is 0.0043” thick


$100 is 0.43” thick


$10,000 is 43” thick


$1,000,000 is 4,300” or 358.33 feet thick


$100,000,000 is 430,000” or 35,833.33 feet or 6.7866 miles thick


$1,000,000,000 is 67.866 miles thick


$1,000,000,000,000 is 67,866.66 miles thick.



Over the Moon…and to the Sun


How long does a dollar chain made of these amounts stretch if taped together lengthwise?


A dollar bill is 6.14” long



614” or 51.166 feet long



61,400” or 5,116.6 feet (almost a mile)



96.9 miles



9,690.6 miles



96,906.4 miles (The interstate highway system in the U.S. is a mere 46,726 miles.)



96,906,565.7 miles.  This is the distance from the earth to the sun.


If a $3.54 Trillion ribbon (one including all the dollars in the reported 2012 budget) were flowing out of a machine over the course of a government work year of 2000 hours, the ribbon would have a velocity of 171,524 miles per hour, 223 times the speed of sound and roughly 0.00026 the speed of light during the work day. The world from the perspective of the dollar requires Einstein’s quantum physics to measure time as it begins to get warped at that speed.


A lap around the earth at that speed would take eight minutes and 43 seconds.


Or, you could simply give everyone on the planet $507.67.



The Fed is printing a lot of money, folks.

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Since 2001, Larry LaBorde has sold gold, silver, platinum and palladium for investment to clients in the U.S. and around the world through his firm, Silver Trading Company LLC. The firm also offers guidance about metals storage options. We love your feedback! Please email Larry with your thoughts about this article or your questions about metals or storage.

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