Last week the G20 calmly agreed to spend $1 trillion on trying to bail everyone out of the mess that we are in. Reports suggest that the UK’s debt is set to surpass £2trillion. Somewhere along the way, people become detached from these impossibly large figures. This includes Ministers who bandy them around as tokens rather than people’s hard-earned money. There are ways of illustrating these figures, such as the Conservative’s “Dad’s Nose, Mum’s Eyes, Gordon Brown’s debt” campaign which calculated that every child born in the UK has £17,000 debt. Even this is difficult to take in. I’ve found a general example to illustrate $1trillion.

$100 is the highest denomination bill issued in the States.

$10,000 is less than 1/2″ thick consisting of one hundred $100 bills.

$1million is represented by this small pile of 100 packets of $10,000.

$100 million starts to look more impressive, fitting on a standard pallet.

$1 billion starts to pique the interest of government ministers.

Finally $1trillion or $1,000,000,000,000. The man can still just be seen at the bottom left of the picture.