That's Gonna Leave a Mark

This is a bit of a shocker:

The value of global financial assets including stocks, bonds and currencies probably fell by more than $50 trillion in 2008, equivalent to a year of world gross domestic product, according to an Asian Development Bank report.

Asia excluding Japan probably lost about $9.6 trillion, while the Latin American region saw the value of financial assets drop by about $2.1 trillion, said Claudio Loser, a former International Monetary Fund director and the author of the report that was commissioned by the ADB. The report didn’t give a breakdown of asset declines in other regions.

Here’s another way to look at it. At the end of the year, the value of all publicly-traded shares in the US was about $20 trillion. So the global meltdown was as if every stock market in this country was dialed back all the way to zero. Two and a half times.