25 Nov 2012

Updated Transactions in the US : $4.44 quadrillion in 2011

Yesterday, I gave a plug to the Universal Exchange Tax idea. The authors estimated that total transactions in the US were probably around $4 quadrillion a year - substantially more than the $3 quadrillion figure that I had previously obtained using the BIS dataset. One of their numbers was a figure of $1.66 quadrillion for the transactions handled by the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) in 2010.

But I've just discovered that this number massively underestimates the total volume handled by the DTCC. The DTCC has a webpage which details transaction statistics for 2010 and 2011. By looking at that site you can find that the $1.660 quadrillion mentioned earlier actually went up to $1.669 quadrillion in 2011. But there is far more!

Here is a compilation of all the various transactions handled by the different arms of the DTCC.

As you can see, the total is a eye-popping $3.211 quadrillion for 2011 - up 1.3% on the previous year. Add to that the $403.3 trillion handled by CHIPS, the $663.8 trillion handled by Fedwire, and the other items mentioned in the BIS dataset, and you get a grand total of $4.443 quadrillion - as you can see in the table below.

Can there be any doubt that there is plenty of scope for an FTT in the USA to generate colossal amounts of revenue for the Government? After all, the total US government tax revenue is only $2.3 trillion - virtually 2000 times less. It follows that a 0.05% FTT could allow all the other US taxes to be scrapped. Is anyone out there listening?

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