21 Trillion Reasons to Own Gold

Friday, April 6, 2018
By Paul Martin

By: Arkadiusz Sieron
Friday, 6 April 2018

Do you know how much a trillion is (we refer here to the short scale)? A billion is hard enough to imagine, much less a trillion. But let’s try. We can write it as 1,000,000,000,000 – that’s a 1 with twelve zeroes. In other words it’s million million, or ten to the twelfth (1012). One trillion of dollars in $100 dollar bills would stack up to about 631 miles high. Given that the average annual income in the U.S. is around $50,000, Joe Schmo would have to save 20 million of years (and not consuming at all) to stockpile a trillion dollars. Sounds enormous, right? So now multiply it by 21 and you will obtain the new level of the U.S. federal debt (here you can watch a movie visualizing the U.S. debt of $20 trillion).

It escalated really quickly. In September 2017, we reported that the total value of U.S. national surpassed $20 trillion. In March, after just half a year, the U.S. federal government added another trillion of debt. And what is even more important, the U.S. indebtedness is not likely to decrease anytime soon. Actually, the Congress has just agreed to cut taxes and spend even more. It will add even more obligations on top of an already existing pile of debts.

Let’s look at the chart below. As one can see, the recent trajectory is rather unsustainable. The federal deficit increased from $587 billion in the last year of Obama’s presidency to about $665 billion in Trump’s first year of presidency.

Chart 1: The total U.S. national debt (red line, right axis, in $ trillions) and the gold prices (yellow line, left axis, London P.M. Fix, in $) from 1968 to 2017.

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