If you take care of the millions the billions will take care of themselves.
If you take care of the billions the trillions will take care of themselves.
If you take care of the trillions the quadrillions will take care of themselves.
You see according to the Bank for International Settlements (www.bis.org) the total notional value of all derivatives was $248 trillion as at Dec. 31 st, 2004 - a number which was up over 25% from the $197 trillion recorded as at Dec. 31 st, 2003.
At those growth rates it could easily be under 10 years before we would have more than $1 quadrillion in OTC contracts outstanding.
However, I believe the word quadrillion would come into play much quicker. The reason is that according to their latest quarterly report dated Sept. 9 th, 2005 we hit "turnover" of $372 trillion in derivatives in the April to June quarter. This means that 2005 may be in fact the first year that "turnover" of OTC derivatives hits over 1 Quadrillion. The turnover in the first quarter was $333 trillion so we have already done $705 trillion in the first six months of the year so it looks very likely.
And to think I remember the good old days when Cisco ( CSCO:US) was in a race to be the first trillion dollar company . For the record today at a market cap of just over $110 billion - a quadrillion would be over 9000 Cisco's.
Here a quadrillion, there a quadrillion and pretty soon you are talking real money .
Buy all the gold you can carry.