Thursday, November 20, 2014


To give you an idea of how much money we've turned over to Wall Street since the 2008 market collapse take a look at the picture on the right. In the top left corner we have a crisp $100 bill.

If we put 100 of these $100 bills together we end up with a stack worth $10,000, as we see to our immediate right.

Good so far? OK.

Right below the $10,000 stack we have a standard pallet stacked with enough $100 bills to make $100 million. The small stack in front of the pallet represents $1 million.

OK, now it gets fun.

If we put together ten pallets stacked with $100 million we have $1 billion (check out what you can buy with $1 billion dollars here and here).

The 20 pallets you see stacked on the trailer of the semi truck at the bottom (below the red flag) is worth $2 billion.

The smallish square base of pallets to the right of the semi truck represents $10 billion. As a point of comparison, the U.S. government will spend a little over six of these square bases - $64 billion - on traditional welfare programs (like TANF and HUD) programs this year.

The tallest stack of pallets in the picture is scaled to represent a 465 foot skyscraper, and is worth $1 trillion (with a "T"). This amount is about what the United States government owed on its national debt in 1981.

In case you're wondering, no, we're still not close to what we coughed up to Wall Street after they helped collapse the economy in 2008.

* * * * * * * * *

If you're still with me then you should enjoy (get teed off by) what's presented in our second visual.

Below we see four 465 foot pallet skyscrapers, and one smaller stack. Together these towers hold about $4.3 trillion.

$4.3 trillion represents what the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve dumped into the market to help stabilize Wall Street and America's financial institutions after the 2008 market collapse.

But we're not done yet.

Believe it or not, in spite of dumping $4.3 trillion into our financial sector, Wall Street has yet another financial lifeline.

In addition to the four towers of money we see above, we would need between $12 and $14 trillion more - or 12 and 14 more 465 foot skyscraper pallets full of $100 bills - to fulfill the lines of credit that Wall Street has been promised by the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury Department. You know, just in case they need it, again.

So, yes, Wall Street has been promised between $12-14 trillion in financial guarantees for market bets that you and I ultimately get to backstop through the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department.

Let me make this point again. There is no domestic welfare program in America that comes close to sucking the trillions that Wall Street has been sucking out of America since 2008.

As an aside - and in the FYI category - the $4.3 trillion that we've handed over to Wall Street, plus the $12 trillion that is still available to the financial sector, far and away exceeds the $2.7 trillion that the U.S. Congress has borrowed from the Social Security trust fund. You remember, the $2.7 trillion that Washington says we can't pay back because it's too expensive.

Sigh ...

- Mark

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