General Question

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

How many US dollars are currently in circulation?

Asked by SquirrelEStuff (9358points) October 3rd, 2008

By dollars, I mean total money not just dollar bills.
Where can I find that info?

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17 Answers

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

Amazing what google can turn up

Try typing this into a google ( search box: “dollars in circulation”. You can do that for any number of things you are looking for. Google is a really cool tool. There are other search tools too, like or it’s fun. Try it some time.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar


A simple answer was all I needed not a wise ass remark. Thanks anyway.

All these are giving me is money in circulation, not held by banks. How much money is in circulation and held by banks? I want the total amount of money going around.

critter1982's avatar

@chris: I believe the term “in circulation” refers to all of the money the US treasury has printed minus the dollars that have been taken out of circulation. So $829 billion is the amount of money in circulation and banks. Which really puts a perspective on the $700 billion bailout plan.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

According to Allies link: As of December 2007, currency in circulation—that is, U.S. coins and paper currency in the hands of the public —totaled about $829 billion dollars.

If that is the case though, isnt there going to be some serious inflation if this bill passes?

And how do we pay off a $10 trillion debt if there less than a trillion in circulation?

Allie's avatar

I think the $829b was in the hands of the public, correct Chris.
Check here for the amount of money banks hold based on the total value that was deposited by people into the banks and savings institutions. I think numbers 3, 4, and 5 will help you find what you’re looking for.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

I didn’t think it was a wise ass comment. Do you honestly think that some Flutherite knows how much money is in circulation off the top of their head? Get real. To answer the question the way it was phrased someone will have to do research. Just like you could do. Conceivably.

Allie's avatar

Sorry, that was the wrong link.. Let me see if I can find the right page again.

Allie's avatar

Damn, I can’t find the page, but here are the graphs it showed that I thought would help you out.
Deposits of banks and savings institutions
Assets of banks and savings institutions
Summary of deposits by state
For all three, the amounts shown are in billions of dollars.

Lovelocke's avatar

“At least $700,000,000,000”, as it turns out. Way to blow, W.

acekelly43's avatar

Chris, the “in circulation” money is not what he was asking, he was asking for “all money”. I would assume you meant even money asked from the Fed. When the request for Fed money happens, only 10% is made from the bureau of engraving and printing and then depostied. The other 90% never exists, only in treasury notes. To get an exact amt is impossible since as of March 2006, they ceased publishing that info. (M3 of the Mo system) All other info is documented, including your info. This is wrong. So there is no current answers
to your question.

shawneeboy's avatar

I also wondered about this question, which is why I found this site, “how much USA money TOTAL exists?” The next question I have is: If there are X dollars existing, and say from one year to the next, like now, hundreds of thousands of jobs are slashed, credit gone, lending gone, etc., then WHERE is the amount of the total that used to be in these places and now is not? where is it? If that’s not how it works, then where does it go, how does it “disappear”?

Response moderated
mateomonticello's avatar

The only honest answer to this question is that nobody knows. There is relatively little cash in existence compared to the total U.S. Dollars. I call them virtual dollars. We have created more in the last seven months than all of the previous years combined. I knew of at least $21,000,000,000,000 but since we, as U.S. citizens, seem to have no legal right to this information from the fed I’m not certain that the number isn’t much higher.. And I haven’t been paying close attention in the last 2 months. Think about it though, the fed can create dollars simply by typing some numbers in and pressing the enter button.
As long as my fellow SHEEPLE continue to believe it will continue to work. We are on borrowed time, people…..I don’t know of one fiat currency throughout history that has lasted as long as the U.S. Dollar. ......Since 1973.

How painful will it be to try to return the gold standard or something similar?

jeromyoc's avatar

Well, shawneeboy, in response to your question: “then WHERE is the amount of the total that used to be in these places and now is not?” I’d like to provide a scenario for you to consider. Imagine you own a home valued at half a million. Then an earthquake destroys your home, leaving it only worth $100,000. Does it make any sense to ask where that value went? There was no cash lying around in the first place. The numbers are always speculative and depend completely on what another person is willing to pay.

prettycolors123's avatar

1.7 trillion as of about 10 months to a year ago

but thats just what i got from yahoo answers so im not sure about it

jojojo's avatar

There are ~56 trillion USD in the M2 set combined with everything else. M2 is all of the money loaned to banks in the form of deposits (which is why you get an interest rate, and also why they can invest it in any way they see fit) plus all of the money in money market accounts. Everything else is M3 money, that the Fed has given up counting.

This information is readily available from their website, and convenient links to it can be found at

For the record, money is conjured into existence via the borrower’s promissory note. Based on his word, track record, and the collateral the borrower may or may not yet own, the bank approves the client for credit. Their promissory note is swapped for a bank promissory note. Banks have charters to convert promissory notes into fiat currency, and they do quite frequently. Before the bank lends the money to the client, it technically owes them money. The next step simply involves typing in the appropriate dollar amount into a computer and transferring the money the bank now owes to the client to their account may provide them with a checkbook.

Upon receiving these powers, the bankers diluted the money supply so that they would have absolute control over it. They also established the Federal Reserve to limit the powers of Congress over the country’s economic affairs.

Most of our currency is debt-based, and actually needs to be payed back. If everyone stopped paying their bills, nearly everyone would be bankrupted, and those who weren’t would have their bank credit accounts wiped out. Only those who own real property and store their cash outside of the banking system would be safe in the subsequent deflationary spiral.

The system is doomed to bankruptcy as it is dependent on exponential growth of the real world economy, which is an impossibility. The reason for such dependence being: the interest on the loans cannot be paid back because it actually doesn’t exist in the overall money supply because almost all of the money in existence was made in the same manner; without continually manufacturing cash and inflating the money supply, enough money will not be in existence for most to pay off debts, and an immense foreclosure process will begin; new debt money can only reasonably be conjured up if there are ample resources in existence to put up for collateral, and merely to prevent the buying power of the currency from becoming greatly reduced in the process of mass conjuring/inflation.

The US dollar, the Euro, the Yen, and most other currencies will undoubtedly collapse. This system works for places with the potential and desire for exponential growth. China has only been using this system since the late 1980s, and so will take somewhat longer to collapse. It is currently in a major bubble; one that will burst sometime soon, though not necessarily large enough to completely ruin them. Cuba, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and one other had absolutely nothing to do with this system; I wonder why the middle two mineral rich countries were invaded? Countries like Canada, Australia, India, and much of the ASEAN states are set for stability, in comparison to the rest of the world. Eventually, however, it will all catch up to those not in the elite banking class, and ruin them—to the benefit of all of those who are in that class.

The solution is simple: governments should outlaw the practice once it is realized that their economies are in, or will be in, critical condition and be prepared to print debt-free fiat currency withing reason. Exponential growth is not possible on a finite planet. The commercial banking system could be implemented wherever necessary, but should be prevented from existing in countries that are no longer in need—or want—of it.

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