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The true size of the hole? $70,000,000,000,000?

As in: “The unregulated and poorly reported credit default swaps may have actually passed $70 trillion last year, or about $5 trillion more than the GDP of the entire world”. The story that includes this number is a really excellent analysis of why and how we got to this point: do read it.
By the way, if you are as confused as I am by the different ways the word “billion” is used in different contexts, you should find this explanation by Jim Loy helpful. I did.
Oh yes, and “there are fears that the West Nile virus could spread aggressively as mosquitoes breed in the stagnant water of swimming pools at bank-owned homes”. In San Diego, pest control officers have seen a surge in calls to deal with bees and wasps which are nesting undisturbed in vacant houses.

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