All this talk about “stimulus packages” and “bailouts” … But what does a trillion dollars look like? The graphical illustration below comes courtesy of PageTutor.

We’ll start with a $100 dollar bill. Currently the largest US denomination in general circulation. Most people have seen it, slighty fewer have owned it. Guaranteed to make friends wherever it goes.


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 …


And $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.

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.

Did you enjoy this post? If so, click here to subscribe to updates to Investment Postcards from Cape Town by e-mail.