Investors Lose $1 Trillion on Paper; What Would That Buy?

The Dow on Monday tumbled 634 points. A more eye-popping number: the 891.93-point drop in the Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index. Based on that figure, stock market investors suffered approximately $1 trillion in paper losses. These losses will not become permanent, however, until investors sell their shares or individual companies go bankrupt.

So exactly how much buying power does $1,000,000,000,000 represent?

* You could buy the entire 106-car production run of the McLaren F1 supercar, the same car that actor Rowan Atkinson recently crashed into a tree. Manufactured from 1992 through 1998, a McLaren F1 sold in a 2008 auction for 2.53 million GBP, which converts into $4.14 million. That purchase would make only a $453 million dent in the trillion dollars.

* Supercars need gasoline and, at the current average price of $3.67 per gallon, you could stock up on 272,479,564,032 gallons of petrol, enough to keep every McLaren F1 running for a very long time.

* With the price of gold closing at $1,713.20 per ounce on Monday, converting $1 trillion would yield nearly 583,703,012 ounces (36,481,438 pounds) of gold.

* "Cowboys & Aliens," the recent big budget western, cost an estimated $163 million to produce. A trillion dollars could underwrite 6,134 similar productions.

* In 2010, Charlie Sheen agreed to $1.9 million per episode to keep doing "Two and Half Men." If Sheen would have continued with the series, he would have had to appear in 526,316 episodes to make a trillion dollars.

* Based on the June estimate of $800 million, a sport-minded trillionaire could purchase the troubled Los Angeles Dodgers, plus another 1,249 sports franchises with the same price tag.

* White Castle's Crave Case contains 30 of its bite-sized burgers and retails for approximately $20 in most areas of the country. A trillion dollars would purchase 50,000,000,000 crave cases, more than enough to satisfy the heroes of "Harold and Kumar go to White Castle."

* In 2010, a collector paid $1.5 million for the first issue of "Action Comics," the book that features the first appearance of Superman. If enough copies were in existence, a dedicated collector could purchase 666,666 copies of that comic for their trillion dollars.

* In contrast, a California collector paid $2.35 million for a T206 Honus Wagner sports card in 2007. Considered one of the rarest bits of sports memorabilia around, no more than 100 of these tobacco cards are believed to be in existence. An outlay of $235 million could conceivably buy them all, leaving $765 billion in the bank.

* Stamp and coin manufacturer errors create a bonanza for collectors, which is what happened in 1918. Designed for air mail, one stamp sheet was accidentally printed upside-down, creating the rare "Inverted Jenny" stamp. A block of four stamps sold for $2.9 million in 2005 and, if all the stamps from that sheet survived, a collector could purchase the whole lot for $72.5 million and still have money left over to buy 2,272,562,500,000 stamps at $.44 each from the U.S. Post Office.

Published by Steven Bryan - Enjoys talking with directors, screenwriters, and other fans about their favorite TV shows or films.

After writing professionally for more than 17 years, I feel lucky to be providing content for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Y!CN allows me to explore my love for movies, TV and all things dealing with pop...  View profile