How Much Money is There on Earth?


Hey, Vsauce. Michael here.
On Earth the average piece of currency changes hands about 55 times a year.
That’s about once a week. With that kind of turnover,
it’s safe to say that statistically in the United States out of every 100
pieces of currency one was most likely touched in the last year by someone who within the next year will
commit murder. But how much cash, how much physical currency is there on earth? First things first, how much cash is inside of bank?
Well, according to the FBI, the average successful bank robbery
involves 10,000 dollars. But that’s usually just currency from the tellers tills. In their vaults, the average bank
might have anywhere from 10,000 dollars to a 100,000 dollars with some
larger banks at times carrying as much as a few million in cash. But what about in our homes?
How much loose change do we all have scattered on dressers or lost under cushions?
Well, it’s tough to accurately figure out the exact number
and many of the estimates vary. Last year, Lloyds TSB announced that in the UK the average person has about £14.15 just lying around. A recent survey by VISA
looked at a bunch of countries and included cash left at home, the office, and in the car.
Their figures are a tad higher, but agree with the US Treasury’s
estimate of few years ago that the typical US household has ninety to a hundred dollars just laying around, which means that if just everyone in
America scrounged up all of their loose change and put in one place, they would have 15 billion dollars.
That’s enough to fund 357 more seasons of Arrested Development. But we are asking about how much cash there is on the entire planet.
Well, that amount has a special name. It is called M0. It’s an aggregate of all coins and banknotes. DollarDays.org’s most recent estimate values this total amount, considering all
currencies in countries, at just slightly over the equivalent of 5 trillion US dollars.
That number, the value of all of the currency on Earth, M0, is huge.
But believe it or not, it represents less than 10 percent of all of the money we humans have available to spend right away.
To explain, we should look at how money is born.
In pretty much every country on Earth, one of the ways new money can be born involves a central bank. Now, let’s say that in our
country the bank is run by Jake from Vsauce3.
He’s really smart and he pays close attention to our economy.
If he feels that an increase of the
money supply would help us, well, he can just make more money. It’s that easy.
It doesn’t need to be printed as currency to be born.
The next step involves the commercial banks, like the Bank of Vsauce.
These are the banks that you and I use. All the central bank needs to do is buy
some things from these banks using the money it just made and now the commercial banks have more
money. There’s another way money can be born. It involves commercial banks and gets to
the heart of our question. If I go to the bank and deposit 5 pounds, the bank says fantastic,
we will hold on to this money for you and at anytime you want,
you can withdraw or spend these 5 pounds.
The thing is, legally, banks only need to reserve a fraction of the money that they are given.
It is known as fractional reserve banking and it pretty much happens in every country.
It means that if someone else comes along,
like, say, Kevin from Vsauce2 and he wants to borrow some money,
say, 3 pounds, the bank can lend him 3 pounds.
And now, whenever he wants he can spend these 3 pounds.
But here’s the thing: Kevin can spend 3 pounds and I can spend 5 for a total of 8, despite the fact that
there are only 5 pounds in the bank.
New money has been born. And if we want to count all of the
spendable money on Earth, we’re going to need to include
this type of money, the kind that fractional reserve banking creates.
If we include that kind of money, we are now talking about a number much larger than M0. Economists call this figure M1.
M1 includes all physical currencies, as well as money
that people can access quickly, like money in checking accounts.
Globally, across all countries and all currencies, M1 is estimated to be the equivalent of 25 trillion US dollars. M2 is an even broader definition of money and it includes things that you can’t
necessarily spend right away. For instance, savings accounts or CDs under a hundred thousand dollars.
M2, globally, is currently estimated to be the
equivalent of 60 trillion US dollars.
Finally, M3.
This is a broad definition of money that includes all currencies, banknotes and coins,
checking accounts, savings accounts, small CDs and really
big, long time deposits. In the American economy, the Federal
Reserve doesn’t even report this figure anymore, but as a measure of eventually
spendable wealth it’s real and if we consider M3 the global money supply that gives us a figure that is equivalent to 75 trillion US dollars.
Of all that money, how much of it is yours?
Well, last week over Twitter, Mark Boadey introduced me to
Global Rich List dot com.
Enter your salary and figure out how you stack up against everyone else on Earth. By the way, you can act just like a central bank and control the money supply yourself. It is illegal, but you can technically
increase the money supply by counterfeiting and you can decrease
the money supply by subtracting money.
For instance, burning it.
If you burn your own money, you become poorer, but because you’ve
decrease the money supply, the power of everyone else’s money goes up
and they become a tiny tiny bit richer.
Of course, given the amount of money on Earth and the amount that you could
probably get your hands on and burn, your effect will be quite imperceptible. One the largest amounts of cash ever
burned was done by KLF, who in the nineties for reasons no one’s still quite sure of, burned a million pounds worth of cash.
It took them about 2 hours to burn all of that cash and
they recorded the act on video.
You can also destroy money by eating it, like the rapper Tyga did.
But you probably shouldn’t do that either
because money is dirty. A study published in Applied
and Environmental Microbiology reported that the flu virus can survive on cash for 1 hour to 2 days. And other studies have found that about
7 percent of cash carries viable strains of dangerous bacteria, like those the cause pneumonia or those
that come from feces.
That is a lot of germs and those germs might be high. Studies have found that 92 percent of banknotes are contaminated with traces of illegal drugs, typically cocaine.
In London that number has been as high as 99 percent. All it takes is for a few exposed bank notes to circulate normally for all of the cash to become contaminated.
Locked within the fibres of a banknote, there’s an average of 28 micrograms of cocaine, which means that in 5,000 banknotes, there’s enough cocaine for an entire line. These drug traces are nearly
impossible to remove from bank notes, so there’s little risk of the drugs
transferring to your skin. However, they can be detected by drug sniffing dogs and, on more than one occasion, courts
have forced police to return confiscated cash, because even though drug dogs detected
drugs on the cash, that’s just how cash is. As if that wasn’t enough, cash is also not nutritious.
Termites can eat cash, but to us humans,
the ones who love this stuff so much, cash as we know it today and, for that matter, money doesn’t really have any intrinsic value. In a post-apocalyptic world, where nothing was stable and survival was a challenge, food, clean, water, AMO, weapons, antibiotics, machines, fuel, the trade and exchange and gifting of those types of things would be our economy. When what you use as money has an
intrinsic value, it’s useful in and of itself, it is known as commodity money. It can also include precious metals, like gold, whose rarity makes it likely to be
accepted by other people for goods and services. Now, when you can
safely store all of your commodities in one place and you don’t need a defend them
or lug them around everywhere, representative money often makes more sense. Store your valuables in a trusted place like a bank and get some slips of paper from them, saying “yeah, I own that stuff.” Now you can walk around
with some easy to carry slips of paper and use those to buy the things that you want. We are now closer to what we call money today. I say closer, because almost all money
that we know of today doesn’t represent any actual useful commodity anywhere on Earth. This note doesn’t
represent how much food or water or gold or spices or video games I have stocked up in a bank, it just is money. It’s called fiat money.
Fiat is Latin for “let it be done.”
And that kind of authoritative command is exactly what gives fiat money its value.
The people who make it have decreed that it is valuable. Why? Just let it be done.
Because of this, the value a fiat money depends on
everyone believing that the people who make it will
continue to exist and have the authority that they already do.
This means that the value of fiat money, unlike other commodities, can be erased by force. Let’s imagine that you live in
America and have a lot of dollars. Great job.
Well, technically, Canada could invade and declare that the US
dollar will no longer be accepted at all.
Well, shucks.
You now have a bunch of paper, which at best is a incomplete deck of famous American flashcards.
The important distinction here is that invading Canadians could technically erase the value of fiat money. But nothing they said or did could make a commodity, like gold, less valuable.
Other countries would still be glad to take your gold and in return give you their own, still valuable, currencies.
No amount of force or authority or laws or rules can make a
commodity like potable water any less important to drink or gold any less rare.
On the other hand, the value of fiat money depends on our beliefs, what we think.
So long as we all believe that fiat money is valuable, it is. This happens all the time.
What we believe, what we think we know, can actually
cause those things to become true.
Actual people, real objects, the way the universe works and deities, like Zeus, can exist all by themselves,
whether we know about them or believe in them.
But some concepts require us to believe in them
for them to be real. And if no one believes in them, they literally aren’t true.
It’s called the Tinkerbell effect, and the value of fiat money is an
often-cited example. But what’s really cool is the fact that
there are situations where our convictions can actually destroye the very thing we believe in.
It’s called the reverse Tinkerbell effect
and it describes the situation, whereas more people believe something that thing actually becomes less and less true.
For example, the idea that driving a car is safe.
As more and more people believe this, more people will go out driving and they
are likely to drive less cautiously, ironically making driving less safe.
Another example would be the idea that in an election your vote matters.
As more and more people believe this, more people will go out and vote and the individual weight of each vote will go down. It took hard work and tools to build civilization and find cures
and explore our solar system, but we should keep in mind that without
doing anything at all we are still capable of creation. By merely believing in something we can make it actually truly real. Other things can actually be destroyed, if we merely believe in them. Can you believe that? And as always, thanks for watching.

100 comments on “How Much Money is There on Earth?”

  1. Octavius Anderson says:

    But Canada, invading? Let's be serious.

  2. Neme. says:

    0:36 Damn he be flexing on us

  3. Anthony 101 says:

    0:34 lol

  4. Carlos Carballo says:

    11:50 I for one accept our new Canadian overlords.

  5. weaver9511 says:

    12:31
    Nestlé: allow us to introduce ourselves

  6. Sunny shah says:

    The Federal Reserve Bank is not Federal, there is no Reserve, and it's not a Bank.

  7. Weazla says:

    Run! The Canadians are coming! Hahaha

  8. Please Dont Call Me Carson says:

    Hello? I'd like to withdraw $5000 in one dollar bills.
    Why? No reason.

  9. SmilingKiller says:

    400,000 richest person!!!!!

  10. lovely says:

    Money is dirty
    Music starts

  11. Stabilizer2238 says:

    Money is dirty…

    Division 2 anyone?

  12. Conan Buchanan says:

    2:09 what about the office

  13. MaximilianMus says:

    Vsauce Ancap hidden message in the end. xD

  14. Toshaheri Talvinen says:

    I find it funny how this video accidentally redpills one to see how poorly our economy is run.

  15. Nate Young says:

    I just realised michael pronounces situation "siduation"

  16. Gman Gaming says:

    6:47 STOP!
    YOU HAVE VIOLATED THE LAW.
    PAY THE FINE OR SERVE YOUR TIME.

    THEN PAY WITH YOUR BLOOD

  17. Amateur Gamer says:

    answer is 65 trillion usd. Rest of the video is useless. Title said how much money is worth not how dirty it is.

  18. DogeMcMeow oof says:

    "money is dirty"
    thanks dad

  19. kettle fish says:

    I took 8 26mg or something pills of some ADD/ADHD thing i forgot the name of and i had a great talk with my friends and family which i dont get to do usually because i dont have anything to say and ive been commenting on videos more because i want to talk for reason and i think this will help me talk to new people and maybe get a partner and i dont know why im saying this i just really need to want to. Thamks for listening reading

  20. kettle fish says:

    This page is great except im an impatient person because reasons so i never finish 🙁 which is a shame because its good. But now that im on certeca or something i still forgot i can watch this while typing a super long comment. Thanks for lreading

  21. kettle fish says:

    I really took 4 normal sized ones because 26 mg is small i think

  22. kettle fish says:

    I probably wont finish this video because im still impatient i think

  23. kettle fish says:

    But thats what this medication is supposed to fix i think

  24. kettle fish says:

    Im just saying random stiff isnt there a family guy episode about this

  25. kettle fish says:

    Except i took more than i should so maybe not im not

  26. kettle fish says:

    I feel like electricity because a side effect is anxiety fun fact so i just feel anxiety for no reason therefor electricity

  27. kettle fish says:

    Sorry for ask talking so much

  28. kettle fish says:

    Sorry

  29. kettle fish says:

    I am sorry but i feel like talking except with words typed

  30. kettle fish says:

    My apologies

  31. kettle fish says:

    I used autofill to spell apologies but i didnt this time

  32. kettle fish says:

    I need to stop

  33. kettle fish says:

    Sorry agayn (i spell it like that because robert smith from the cure says it like that no one has noticed yet sorry)

  34. kettle fish says:

    Sorry for blowing up the comment section sorry agayn (agayn i did it)

  35. kettle fish says:

    Oh he said cure i like the cure im sorry for saying anything i gotta stop amd the video is over and i think i payed attention godamn is this really whats going on in my head oh now that i said that i sound like im trying to be quirky im not sorry i dont even know who im talking to

  36. kettle fish says:

    Sprry one last time

  37. kettle fish says:

    Sorry*

  38. kangeroobru says:

    Interesting comment about your vote being worth less with the more people voting. What really makes your vote powerful is being in a position where the vote is 50/50 on a decision. Cool video anyway!

  39. Nexxus CaTz says:

    Imagine a world without money. No bank robberies, no more poor people. Everyone can get whatever they want. Everyone can get food, a place to live, a car and so much more. And the thing is that the people you get stuff from won't need to get payed as they can just get free stuff too. And you may say that people won't want to work and stuff. People can get whatever job they want, and there could just be a law that said that you have to work for at least 30 years or so.

  40. Gus Gus says:

    Me: [laughs in monopoly]

  41. Carson George says:

    The end of the video sounds like the song Mexican Radio

  42. H. Anthony Ribadeneira says:

    Global rich list 6:23 Has some serious flaws. Glaring is the fact it never asks for net worth or net income. I.e net of all the money you owe. And in the rich west – we owe ALOT!
    Also, there’s no way only 5million ppl take home more than $96k a year – there’s just no way. This site seems to skew data to push a point – make a donation. Don’t include crap sites like that mike pls.

  43. Cian Farrell says:

    In Ireland an atm machine has 50 k when it’s refilled

  44. iDhagu ! says:

    Money, it's a crime
    Share it, fair it but don't take a slice of my pie.

  45. Josh Guyette says:

    You like blowing peoples minds. Here is a unconventional thought I had. Can we have a unit numbering based on a factor equal to PI? I hope I said that mathematically correct. Instead of a the number one, the value of PI is the number one!

  46. Rohan Jaiswal says:

    just type "HESOYEM" and you are sorted.

  47. Green Lint says:

    I can finally pay off my student loans

  48. Stubs 324 says:

    Who here can spare me a penny

  49. Arrax says:

    Happened to get a MoneyBox ad. Fitting.

  50. Crazando anonymous says:

    how much is money worth?

  51. Hotdog gang pauler says:

    How much money is in space then?

  52. Ian Lol says:

    I searched my whole house after this video

  53. Brian McKinny says:

    Invading Canadians… Now THAT'S some funny shit right there! 😀

  54. Roohollah Shahrami says:

    Nobody likes Kevin.

  55. Creative Genius says:

    I walked by a used couch today sitting at the curb. Something told me to go over to it and check it out. Sure enough a bunch of quarters were just sitting there. 🙄🤔🤝🤷‍♂️

  56. Mark Sun says:

    Heck nah, Canadians are way too nice to invade anything.

  57. Freedom says:

    Is there an M4 which includes cryptocurrency?

  58. Fisica Dificil says:

    My english is basic but I like it this video

  59. Millie Henderson says:

    6 years late squad where u at

  60. Pimenta Geimepleis says:

    "Guys, the thermal drill, go get it…"

  61. Nara says:

    7:48 just wash it.

  62. Jack McCourt says:

    eat the rich

  63. 33 /Al'Zuhr says:

    There isnt. It is only a mere fabrication of humans. Money does not actualy exist. Its a just an illusion . And yes you do have to obey the system.

  64. FaZe Unknown says:

    2019?? Anyone ? No ? ok.

  65. Jake Jackson says:

    I found $2

  66. RedLikeWater says:

    I've never heard the criminal Jewish ponzi scheme of central banking described like it's a good thing before. I bet Michael's last name echoes.

  67. FastZander101 says:

    New Green Deal is more than this

  68. Nitrogen Peroxide says:

    I'm the 414,349th richest person in the world?!

  69. ethan bross says:

    20:00

  70. Colin Harkins says:

    If Canada invades and erases the value of us dollar, I will take it to Zimbabwe or Ecuador where they use the US dollar as standard tender

  71. Brandon Conway says:

    Wow an old pound coin

  72. Spiyder says:

    gotta bleach your money before you eat it

  73. Floccinaucinihilipilification says:

  74. Ł Ø S Ŧ Ƀ Ø Ɨ says:

    i used to collect a lot of change and called myself the,
    CENTS MASTER

  75. TheBoe-Eyes says:

    Stonks

  76. TUNESMITH da INFINITY Tunegate says:

    Let’s do it

  77. TUNESMITH da INFINITY Tunegate says:

    I feel u post apocalyptic days that’s why it’s so much panic the gaps are growing the world for the rich is shrinking while the world for the poor is expanding its all a simulation anyway

  78. CROCRACKS says:

    THERE IS MORE THAN ENOGUH MONEY TO FEED EVERY SINGLE HUMAN ON EARTH. CAPITALISM HAS FAILED.

  79. Chris M says:

    $75 trillion. I just saved you 15 boobless minutes

  80. Bailey Daws says:

    Money in a nutshell

    Money is dirty don’t eat it

  81. Ethan Lyngstad says:

    M4 all money ever created?

  82. Tasty Rainbro says:

    So you're saying.. if i burn others money, i'll become richer? – where are my match sticks?!

  83. Luke Peralta says:

    arrested development costs 42 million a season?

  84. Dr. Zoidberg says:

    cool we only need a third of all of m3 to pay off the national debt

  85. Steve says:

    All of the currency on the planet wouldn't even pay off a quarter of the U.S. National Debt. Sad.

  86. Steve says:

    Or you can just print a bunch of money like Zimbabwe did. Of course then a loaf of bread will cost a trillion dollars.

  87. Steve says:

    In a societal breakdown, paper currency becomes worthless, and bullets and cans of food become currency.

  88. Lunqr Eclipse says:

    if the government needs more money to build things cant they just like poof and get people to add it to their bank accounts? like

  89. Craig addict says:

    Vsauce: How much money is there?
    Vsauce 5 minutes later: Atoms

  90. Mr E4GLE says:

    >mfw i just wanted to learn how much money there is but ended up learning to not think about stuff

  91. A Loser says:

    0:47
    The average successful bank robbery involves 10.000 dollars.
    Payday Gang: "Are u sure about that?"

  92. MaQuGo119 says:

    What is arrested developement?

  93. MaQuGo119 says:

    Someone paypal me 2000 USD pls

  94. The Best says:

    Mr. Krabs has joined the chat

  95. B Henry says:

    Nah, no way I'm in the top .08% I'm the5,067,405th richest person ? I'm the richest broke person on earf

  96. Prod. Yona says:

    How much is monopoly money worth?

  97. King Crockett says:

    Weird flex but ok

  98. Joshua Walker says:

    Did anyone the hear the background conversation near the end of the video?

  99. Andre Ouellette says:

    ASK THE MEMBERS OF YOUR DIRTY JEWISH FAMILY WHERE ALL THE MONEY IS YOU GREASY BASTARD JEW-FUCK. ASK

  100. ricshmitzUK says:

    I'm yet to see a Vsauce where Michael doesn't mention poo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *