The World’s Money and Markets in One Visualization

23 Dec

Another view of derivatives [courtesy Google Images]

Another view of derivatives
[courtesy Google Images]

Interesting text and illustration from The Money Project:


“How much ‘money’ exists in the world? . . . [T]here are multiple answers to this question, and the amount of money that exists changes depending on how we define it. The more abstract definition of money we use, the higher the number is.

“In the following  data visualization of the world’s total money supply, we wanted to not only compare the different definitions of money, but to also show powerful context for this information. That’s why we’ve also added in recognizable benchmarks such as the wealth of the richest people in the world, the market capitalizations of the largest publicly-traded companies, the value of all stock markets, and the total of all global debt.

“The end result is a hierarchy of information that ranges from some of the smallest markets (Bitcoin = $5 billion, Silver above-ground stock = $14 billion) to the world’s largest markets (Derivatives on a notional contract basis = somewhere in the range of $630 trillion to $1.2 quadrillion).

“In between those benchmarks is the total of the world’s money, depending on how it is defined. This includes the global supply of all coinage and banknotes ($5 trillion), the above-ground gold supply ($7.8 trillion), the narrow money supply ($28.6 trillion), and the broad money supply ($80.9 trillion).”


You can see that derivatives dwarf all other forms of money.  Are derivatives extraordinarily dangerous because of their enormous magnitude?  Or, could it be that the sheer “mass” of derivatives is so enormous that that “mass” provides some sort of “ballast” and stability in an otherwise volatile monetary environment?  Does that “ballast” threaten to sink the monetary “ship”?  Or will that “ballast” help protect that “ship” from minor craziness taking place in silver, gold and stock markets?

Whatever the answer, it’s clear from the following illustration that we live in a time that is unlike anything else every before seen in world history.   The modern concept of derivatives may be roughly 20 years old, and yet the sum of those derivatives is over ten times greater than sum of all of the other forms of “money,” combined.

How could that have happened?

If you take time to consider the following illustration, you might find yourself beginning to gape.


Courtesy of: The Money Project




Posted by on December 23, 2015 in Debt, Derivatives, Money, Money Supply


Tags: , ,

6 responses to “The World’s Money and Markets in One Visualization

  1. palani

    December 23, 2015 at 7:01 AM

    In calculus a derivative is the rate of change of something per unit time. When the thing measured is a displacement that makes the derivative a velocity. The second derivative (derivative of the velocity) is called acceleration.

    A derivative might be described as the velocity of money.

    If viewed in maritime terms the ship might displace a certain amount of ‘money’ and the velocity that it is sinking would be the derivative of the displacement. (Sinking Fund?)

    If the ship is sinking at a fixed rate the 2nd derivative of the displacement would be zero (no acceleration).

    These all could be considered benchmarks to let you know when to man the lifeboats.

  2. kanani

    December 28, 2015 at 8:49 PM

    Derivatives are the new form of ” bucket shop” trading.

    Most likely regular folk will get left holding worthless paper.

  3. palani

    December 29, 2015 at 8:52 AM

    You are accelerating toward the center of the earth at 9.8 meters per second squared. You have always been accelerating there … from the beginning. You don’t perceive this potential catastrophe because it has always been happening .. yet never happens. The same is true of the monetary system. Everyone who participates is accelerating toward bankruptcy. Only a few are successful and actually arrive though.

  4. dog-move

    December 29, 2015 at 12:41 PM

    the derivitive square appears to be the largest bubble ever constructed.
    derivatives are seemingly infinate, similar to the perception of the world wide web.
    Pat Fields? posted on this blog some years ago that “money is weighed and fictions are counted”.
    a sound statement I will probably “always” remember!
    there are only a few items on the chart that are weighable.
    does that make everything unweighable on the chart a fiction that is counted, and that which is weighed, a unit of value a/k/a money?
    it appears that units of account are the markets, and units of value are money silver, gold ,coins…according to the “money and the markets chart items.
    the derivative market is uncomprehendle, therefore I buy silver coin.
    silver coin and gold are the hitching post in a world of debt creation insanity.
    it’s good to be back at adask.wordpress for my bread of reality and substance.
    the derivative market has rules and principles, one must be dead person to participate.
    you cannot participate unless you use the all caps name, that’s the catch.
    are you any good at walking amoungst the dead?

  5. dog-move

    December 31, 2015 at 10:34 AM

    question: as the global equity markets roll over and begin a revert to the mean, will the total derivatives count increase exponetially at that point?
    the current divident yield for the S&P 500 is 2.07%. rising interest rates are a strong headwind, a ceiling. in a weakening economy dividend decreases may become the norm and put added preasure on stock price apprieciation/deprieciation.
    the reverse of A.D. 1982 is in its gestation stage. in A.D. 1982 the dividend yield for the S&P 500 was approx. 6.10%.
    stocks and interest rates zig and zag within short–medium and long term cycles.
    the trend in every expansive derivative values will continue as all trends do.
    trends continue in their current direction until they change direction.
    cycles are at a convergence, with so much leverage, these are not just cycles, they are supercycles, grand supercycles,Kondratieff wave progression.
    there exists an derivative explosion/expansion in volume ahead, the trend will continue..

  6. Oscar Dean Windham

    April 29, 2016 at 6:33 PM

    My contribution to this discussion is to state the following facts: the deficit doesn’t matter, we’ve never borrowed money from China and we already have a one world currency, paper. Those in the upper echelon of the financial world are well aware of these facts and have been for decades. They’ve been exploiting this knowledge and will continue to do so to the detriment of society until the public at large understands why the deficit doesn’t matter, how is it that we’ve never borrowed money from China and why the one world currency (paper) is so intricle in all this.


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