Here are some 'back of the envelope' calculations that show how it could be possibly to "Balance our Books" with a minimal of pain to everyone. Well most everyone.
2008/9 Schools Wikipedia Selection.
The size of the worldwide "bond market" is estimated at $45 trillion. The size of the "stock market" is estimated at about $51 trillion [worldwide]. The world derivatives market has been estimated at about $480 trillion "face" or nominal value, 30 times the size of the U.S. economy… and 12 times the size of the entire world economy.
$480T / 12 ~ = $40T (World economy)
$480T / 30 ~ = $16T (U.S. economy)
A Study of the Financial Crisis
by Kyle Baxter, tightwind.net -- Dec 6, 2010
In 1999, the CDS market was $900 billion; by 2007, it mushroomed to $45.5 trillion dollars, or roughly twice the size of the U.S. stock market (Morgenson, “Arcane Market is Next”).
$45.5T / 2 ~ = $23T (U.S. stock market)
That's one serious, chunk of change ...
What Percentage of U.S. Equity Trades Are High Frequency Trades?
by George Washington, zerohedge.com -- 10/28/2010
Several financial analysts have said that some 70% of American stock trades are high frequency trading:-- The former head of Nasdaq said that high frequency traders account for 73% of the volume on the stock market
$23T (U.S. stock market) x 70% ~ = $16T (High Frequency Trades -- U.S. stock market)
What's Behind High-Frequency Trading
by Scott Patterson and Geoffrey Rogow, online.wsj.com -- Aug 1, 2009
Q: What is high-frequency trading?
A: Definitions differ, but at its most basic, high-frequency trading [HFT] implies speed: Using supercomputers, firms make trades in a matter of microseconds, or one-millionth of a second. Goals vary. Some trading firms try to catch fleeting moves in everything from stocks to currencies to commodities. They hunt for "signals," such as the movement of interest rates, that indicate which way parts of the market may move in short periods. Some try to find ways to take advantage of subtle quirks in the infrastructure of trading.
Critics worry that a rogue firm's system could destabilize parts of the market, even leading to a broad-based market selloff, without proper oversight and risk controls.
Computer trades, transacting at the speed of light, could easily stampede a Down Market Day, right over a Financial Cliff -- given an unanticipated set of signals. Coders can't think of everything. Anything that can slow down this HFT action, may very well save the average person's Pension Fund, from such a frayed Micro-Bungee fate someday.
What in the world could slow down the pace of the HFT Casino? Just keep reading ...
U.S. hits debt ceiling
by Jeanne Sahadi, CNNMoney -- May 17, 2011
How high is the debt limit right now?
The ceiling is currently set at $14.294 trillion.
Call it in the neighborhood of $15T -- assuming the Debt Ceiling gets raised again
Here's the very simply way to pay it ALL off -- IN ONLY 10 YEARS:
Tax that $16T (High Frequency Trades in the U.S. stock market) with an additional 10% Transaction Tax.
$16T x 10% ~ = $1.6T per year (extra U.S. Revenue per year)
$1.6T per year x 10 years ~ = $16T (extra U.S. Revenue over 10 years)
National Debt $15T - $16T ~ = -$1T (or a 1 Trillion Dollar Surplus)
At the end of 10 Years these Gamblers on Wall Street could PAY OFF the Debt, with just an extra 10% Tax on their Computerized Flash trading. Easy Money! ... for the Little Guys (us) for a change.
Some might call THAT Poetic Justice -- given the reckless and greedy roles Wall Street speculators played in the Crashing of the Economy, a few years ago. Worst Financial Scandal in nearly a Century. Seems like they "owe us" ... doesn't it? This Economy is their mess, too.
(Of course, this simple solution to "Balance our Books" on the Backs of the Wall Street Gamblers, the Real Culprits
-- depends on the principles of Economic Justice and Fairness, actually become a Fact of Life, not just more hollow rhetoric. A tall order, I know. But it never hurts to do the Math ahead of time though. You never know when someone blocking the way, might fold ... given the crazy days ahead, just over that next HFT horizon.)