Trillion with a T

Since we're on the topic of debt, you may have read that, last week, Congress raised the national debt limit to $9 trillion.

That is a 9 with 12 zeros... a number so huge that it's hard to wrap our mind around it.

So, to get a better understanding, what could you do with $9 trillion?

  • If you spent a million dollars a day for a million days (2,739 years), it would sum up to $1 trillion.

  • To blow $1 trillion in the average American life span of 77 years, you'd have to spend $35,580,857 every day from the day you were born.

  • On September 13, 2005, Oprah Winfrey gave a $16,882 Pontiac G6 sedan to every member of her studio audience. For $9 trillion, she could have given Pontiacs to every man, woman, and child in the United States, Canada, and Mexico--with enough left over to cheer up residents of Central America and the Caribbean.

  • If you like cash better, you could hand every man, woman and child in the world $1,500.

  • $9 trillion would buy you 3 million tons of $93-per-ounce Beluga caviar.

  • Or you could build 28 Eiffel Towers made out of pure gold.

  • For the less decadent, it would buy a lifetime supply of Charmin toilet paper or 1,000 bottles of Coke for every person on the planet.

  • And if Wal-Mart--which made $258 billion in 2005--could be persuaded to dedicate all its revenue to paying off the national debt, the problem could be solved in less than 36 years.
(Sources: CNN, Times Online, Wolf Files on

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Posted 03-21-2006 4:33 PM by Doug Casey