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All the Money in the World

The total volume of all the cash money now in circulation worldwide...

AS of SEPT. 2009, the total amount of physical paper and coin money issued throughout the world was approaching US$4.5 trillion at current exchange rates, writes Mike Hewitt of Dollar Daze.

This map indicates the countries and monetary unions included in this analysis of all the money in the world.

Three of the five monetary unions are clearly seen above. The remaining two are the Institut d'émission d'Outre-Mer (IEOM) – which uses the French Pacific Franc in three member countries in Polynesia – and the East Caribbean Currency Union, which uses the East Caribbean Dollar in eight member countries.

The following graph shows the growth of world money supply since 1971, a year selected for the reason that the last remaining currency to be convertible to gold (the US Dollar) was made inconvertible on August 15, 1971.

Since 1971 the total value of cash money in circulation world wide has been increasing at a rate of 9.09% compounded annually.

The four largest currencies by circulation (now the Euro, US Dollar, Japanese Yen and Chinese Yuan) comprise nearly 75% of all circulating banknotes and coins within the public domain.

Country/Union Currency Code Amount (US$bn) Percentage of all world money
Eurozone EUR 1067.6 24.0%
United States USD 862.3 19.4%
Japan JPY 805.4 18.1%
China (mainland) CNY 539.7 12.1%
India INR 144.7 3.3%
Russia RUB 116.4 2.6%
United Kingdom GBP 89.0 2.0%
Canada CAD 49.9 1.1%
Brazil BRL 46.5 1.1%
Switzerland CHF 42.9 1.0%
Poland PLN 41.1 0.9%
Australia AUD 38.4 0.9%
Mexico MXN 35.3 0.8%
South Korea KRW 27.1 0.6%
Taiwan TWD 26.8 0.6%
Hong Kong HKD 23.8 0.5%
Others (87) 490.2 11.0%
TOTAL 4447.1 100.0%

It is also apparent that the quantities of money are increasing in an accelerating fashion.

In 1990, the total amount of currency in circulation worldwide passed US$1 trillion. Twelve years later, the total amount of all the cash money in the world exceeded US$2 trillion. This doubled again less than six years later in early 2008.

The author is of the opinion that these substantial increases to the amount of circulating currency will ultimately lead to decreased purchasing power.

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Mike Hewitt is the editor of, a website pertaining to commentary on the instability of the global fiat monetary system and investment strategies on mining companies. The opinions expressed are not intended to be taken as investment advice. It is to be taken as opinion only, and Mike encourages you to complete your own due diligence when making any investment decision.

See the full archive of Mike Hewitt articles.

Please Note: All articles published here are to inform your thinking, not lead it. Only you can decide the best place for your money, and any decision you make will put your money at risk. Information or data included here may have already been overtaken by events – and must be verified elsewhere – should you choose to act on it. Please review our Terms & Conditions for accessing Gold News.

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