Tue, 11 Oct 11 at 16:49 | No Comments Yet
US hedge funds now manage $1,400,000,000,000.
That’s a big number, isn’t it? So big it’s hard to get your head around. Here’s a nice graphic that takes us part way there, from DailyCognition. First, a paltry $100m, in one-hundred dollar bills banded and stacked on a pallet:
And a trillion dollars, double-stacked on these pallets:
To get $1.4 trillion, of course, you have to imagine half again that much.
Okay, that’s kind of cute. But $1.4 trillion turns out to have some other interesting meanings. For example, it also happens to be:
• The approximate total wealth of half of all US households (the lower half, naturally); or
• The total wealth of the 400 richest Americans; or
• Interestingly, the total amount of cash socked away in that Caribbean tax-evader’s paradise, the Cayman Islands; or even
• How much the US could save by ending (over several years!) its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
So, to recap: amount of money owned by 400 rich people = amount managed by US hedge funds = amount hidden away in the Caymans. While there’s definitely double-counting in those categories, none occurs in the other two: $1.4 trillion also = amount owned by 150 million other Americans = how much we could save by winding up the Bush/Obama wars.
If this were a political blog, I might draw some conclusions. But it’s not, and I won’t.