What does one trillion dollars look like?

All this talk about tarp, stimulus packages, and bailouts...

A billion dollars...
A hundred billion dollars...
Eight hundred billion dollars...
One TRILLION dollars...

These various numbers are tossed around like so many doggie treats.

What does that look like?

To get a sense of what a trillion dollars looks like, we'll start with a $100 bill.
Currently the largest U.S. Denomination in general circulation.
Most everyone has seen them; slightly fewer have owned them.
Guaranteed to make friends wherever they go.

$100 bill $100

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 a week or two of shamefully decadent fun.

$10,000 $10,000

Believe it or not, this next little pile is $1 million (100 packets of $10,000).
You could stuff that into a grocery bag and walk around with it.

$1,000,000 $1,000,000

While a measly $1 million looked a little unimpressive, $100 million is a little more respectable.
It fits neatly on a standard pallet.

$100,000,000 $100,000,000

And $1 billion using $100 bills...
Now we're really getting somewhere.

$1,000,000,000 $1,000,000,000

Next we'll look at ONE TRILLION dollars.

That's the number we've been hearing about so much.

What is a trillion dollars?

Well, it's a million million.
It's a thousand billion.
It's a one followed by 12 zeros.
It's 10,000 pallets, each stacked with $100 million in $100 bills.

1 trillion dollars

$1,000,000,000,000 $1,000,000,000,000

Notice those pallets are double stacked and how small the man looks.

So the next time you hear someone toss around the phrase "trillion dollars"...
that's what they're talking about.