Cost of the Crisis ~ market folly

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cost of the Crisis

In our world of never-ending and awing statistics, the Bank of England is out claiming that paper losses from the global crisis are at a staggering


And, for those of you counting zeros at home, that's $2.8 trillion. Displaying it with all the zeros certainly has a more powerful effect I feel. After hearing about billions and billions of write-downs, losses, and bailouts, the numbers don't really "feel" all that big anymore, when in reality they are. It seems I've become comfortably numb with 'billion,' almost as if its no big deal. When, of course, its a very big deal.

And, as the Guardian puts it,

"Think of it like this: it (the paper losses) could pay for 46 bail-outs of the kind the Treasury handed to the banks RBS, HBOS group and Lloyds TSB; or pay off the last quarter's public debt 45 times. It is more than three times the sum of UK annual public spending, and also equivalent to the wealth of 100 Oleg Deripaskas - before the credit crunch anyway. It's equal to 138m bottles of 1947 Petrus Pomerol, the bankers' favourite vintage; or, if it's your turn in the coffee round, 773bn lattes - nearly 13,000 each for every UK citizen."

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