If I am reading the March 2009 Treasury Bulletin correctly, there exists $1,061,523,382,683 in total US currency as of December 2008. Disclaimer, I have been an Infantryman, a ranch hand, a construction worker, an engineer and many other things, but I have never been an economist, accountant or attorney. So, I may have this all wrong and truthfully, I hope I do.
Now, if that 1.061 trillion US dollars is all that existed in December 2008 and none are destroyed and no vast generation of physical wealth ensues... The first 1.061 trillion US dollars off of the presses in the now and very near future will devalue (or dilute the value of) the US dollar by 50%... great, all them dollars are soon to be less than 50 cent pieces. Welcome to $4.00 per gallon gasoline.
Our only hope is that the price of "Monopoly" stays constant in this country. Or that this analysis is wrong. If I am wrong and one of y'all knows it, please don't keep it a secret.
Thank you to James for even getting me to start thinking about dilution factors as pertains to dollars.