Three Trillion is a very popular number

these days.  Some folks say that it means $138 a month for every American citizen for the rest of their life just to pay off the interest.

Other folks predict it’s the eventual cost of the war in Iraq.

But  Charles R. Morris author of the Trillion Dollar Meltdown predicts it is the amount of the “avalanche of asset write-downs that will rattle on through much of 2008” and includes discounting everything but the kitchen sink for many more than the next several quarters.

Here is a crude gauge of the credit bubble.  Not long ago, the sum of all financial assets — stocks, bonds, loans, mortgages, and the like, which are claims on real things — were about equal to global GDP. Now they are approaching four times global GDP.  Financial derivatives, a form of claim upon finacial assets, now have notional values of more than ten times global GDP.

Over the last several days the Fed has decided to pump more than 400 billion dollars into the bank and credit industry in a not so transparent attempt to stave off the inevitable.

Welcome the world of taxation without representation folks.  In truth, if we are to continue in a free market economy then the issue of transparency in our economic infrastructures may become the hottest issue of this coming election.


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