Orders of Magnitude:
- $1 - will almost buy a paper copy of the NYT
- $10 - a trip to Starbucks with a little change left.
- $100 - a tank of gas and lunch money.
- $1,000,000 - Used to be associated with the concept of a millionaire. Barely high net worth.
- $10,000,000 - Start dreaming about fractional jet ownership.
- $100,000,000 - Not like the rest of us.
- $1,000,000,000 - A billion. The basic unit of corporate finance.
- $10,000,000,000 - Cost of a smaller company that you may have heard of.
- $100,000,000,000 - A big company you have heard of.
- $1,000,000,000,000 - A trillion. A material amount of money when talking about the US Economy.
The reason for the chart above, is that it gets damn confusing to talk about big numbers without a frame of reference. Citibank loses another $billion - needs to be thought of in the context of their capital and what they said they earned last year ($20 billion).
The other bias of this blog is a historical point of view. A lot of stuff that seems new has happened before. The details are always different, but there are recurring themes.