Exactly How Big Is One Trillion Dollars? (Pounds/ Euro)

Sep. 25, 2012 2:51 PM ET
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Contributor Since 2011

I am as mad as hell, and I am not going to take it anymore. As little as I may be able to contribute, money, in all its forms, is my passion. Numismatic is defined as the study and history of money and I believe that everybody should care about the science, history and evolution of where we are today.

Regular readers know that we rarely use the term BILLION when talking the colossal sums of money in today's debt laden world. A billion here and a billion there; it just does not underscore the magnitude of debt we are paying interest on, and at some point should actually pay back.

In place of five billion dollars (pounds/ euro), we believe we are able to create a better perspective by using the term FIVE THOUSAND MILLION dollars in pace of $5 Billion.

Whist talking with a friend today, I recalled a post I read somewhere, I forget where, which puts a perspective on ONE TRILLION dollars.

So just how big is one trillion dollars?

Assume that you earned one dollar every second of every day.

At one dollar per second it would take:

12 days to have One Million dollars.
32 years, would give you One Billion pounds.
32,000 years, and you would have One Trillion euro.

Yes, at one dollar/ pound/ euro per second, it would take, roughly, thirty two thousand years to reach one trillion.
(To satisfy the sophist, it is exactly: 31,546 years)

British national debt is approximately £1.4 trillion, and more likely closer to £4 Trillion when pensions and off balance sheet debt is included.

Figures from the USA are even more startling, including off balance sheet debt, liabilities of the US government are estimated at a staggering $70 Trillion.

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