Japanese Government Debt is $8.91 Trillion Dollars! Want to see a Trillion Dollars?

The Japanese Ministry of Finance shows Japan's debt to be ¥741.3 trillion yen as of Sept 10, 2010. That's about $8.91 trillion USD! That's ¥741,300,000,000,000 yen. Yes. That's a 741.3 with eleven zeroes after it.

It's also more than 200% of Japan's GDP.

How much money is a trillion dollars? Lew Rockwell turned me on to this incredibly interesting article from Page Tutor:

What does one TRILLION dollars look like?
All this talk about "stimulus packages" and "bailouts"...
A billion dollars...
A hundred billion dollars...
Eight hundred billion dollars...
One TRILLION dollars...
What does that look like? I mean, these various numbers are tossed around like so many doggie treats, so I thought I'd take Google Sketchup out for a test drive and try to get a sense of what exactly a trillion dollars looks like.
We'll start with a $100 dollar bill. Currently the largest U.S. denomination in general circulation. Most everyone has seen them, slighty fewer have owned them. Guaranteed to make friends wherever they go.

A packet of one hundred $100 bills is less than 1/2" thick and contains $10,000. Fits in your pocket easily and is more than enough for week or two of shamefully decadent fun. 

Believe it or not, this next little pile is $1 million dollars (100 packets of $10,000). You could stuff that into a grocery bag and walk around with it.

While a measly $1 million looked a little unimpressive, $100 million is a little more respectable. It fits neatly on a standard pallet...

nd $1 BILLION dollars... now we're really getting somewhere...

Next we'll look at ONE TRILLION dollars. This is that number we've been hearing so much about. What is a trillion dollars? Well, it's a million million. It's a thousand billion. It's a one followed by 12 zeros.
You ready for this?
It's pretty surprising.
Go ahead...

Ladies and gentlemen... I give you $1 trillion dollars. 

Notice those pallets are double stacked....and remember those are $100 bills. So the next time you hear someone toss around the phrase "trillion dollars"... that's what they're talking about.

Thanks to Lew Rockwell & Page Tutor


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