Gone in 1.8 Seconds

A trillion here, a trillion there and all of a sudden you are talking real money. We are getting used to the “T” word. Over the past year and half—from the middle of 2007 through the end of 2008, when the crisis unfolded—the crisis in the housing market and in the stock market has cost American families a total of $15 trillion in 2008 dollars.

It makes sense, though, to put the loss of personal wealth in perspective. In these 18 months, approximately 27 million times the average family’s wealth—$566,000 in 2008 dollars. Put differently, equivalent of the average family’s net worth disappeared every 1.8 seconds in those 18 months.

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