TGIF! June 20, 2014

Numbers are really big today. Of course the numeral system hasn’t changed for centuries. But the size and velocity of numbers used today has. Just this week, the Fed announced another $10 Billion taper of the $85 Billion monthly bond purchases. QE3 is expected to cost over $1.6 Trillion when completed. These are really big numbers!

Numbers are a part of our daily lives. They always have been and always will be. Without numbers, there’s no order, there’s no accounting, there’s no accountability. Nowhere on earth do numbers play a bigger role than with money. Today, huge numbers are thrown out constantly; it’s easy to become numb to the numbers. Besides, so many Americans are intimidated with numbers. It reminds me of the old Saturday Night Live “No Math” skit with Chevy Chase glazing over in response to a complex question. The scientific term for the fear of numbers is “Arithmophobia”. It’s unknown how many people suffer from it. But it is known that when you throw out a lot of numbers in conversation or writing, the masses tend to lose interest.

I plan to test this very issue to offer perspective on today’s big numbers. I’ll be curious to see how many read to the end, and found this interesting. Your feedback is always appreciated. Here we go:

The Facts

  • 1 million = 1,000,000 1 billion = 1,000,000,000 1 trillion = 1,000,000,000,000
  • There are 6.7 billion people on earth. 330 million are Americans.
  • The US economy, as measured by GDP, is $17 Trillion. US debt is also $17 Trillion.
  • The Total US Stock Market is worth over $20 Trillion. It’s believed there are $1.2 Trillion in currency in circulation.
  • Apple is worth $550 Billion.
  • The New York Yankees are believed to be worth over $2.5 Billion.
  • The Empire State Building is worth over $2 Billion.


  • A million seconds is 12 days. A billion seconds is 31 years.
  • A million hours ago, it was the late 1800’s. A billion minutes ago was just after the time of Christ. A billion hours ago, man had not yet walked on earth. 2 million hours ago, the Declaration of Independence was signed.
  • A trillion just doesn’t even register; it’s such a big number.

In money terms, the Louisiana Purchase cost $15 Million in 1803, which equates to $230 Million today. Thomas Jefferson paid just 4 cents an acre. Based on today’s land values across the country, the 13 states that were included in the Louisiana Purchase are worth more than $1.2 Trillion. Now that’s a great endorsement for long-term investing…

Have a nice weekend. Summer is officially here. We’ll be back dark and early on Monday.

By Mike Frazier

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