Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Trillion Here a Trillion There

Everett Dirkson, the powerful Illinois senator of the fifties and sixties is credited with the quote, "a billion here, a billion there and pretty soon you're talking about real money." Times change, or at least the numbers get bigger.

The loss of value over the past year in the financial sector of the US economy has now passed the trillion dollar mark, real money for shareholders and the nation. The link below to this week's New York Times article has a great interactive visual of how much and from where the losses have occurred."

Citibank has been surpassed by Bank of America as the largest financial institution in the country. Household names have disappeared and it's going to be a long road back. When a problem isn't understood, it is difficult to solve, and derivatives have made this problem too complex for even experts to understand.

John Barnyak