Stock Losses So Far: $15 Trillion

The speed is scarier than the size.

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Jeremy Gaunt at Reuters examines the damage to the MSCI All-Country World Stock index since the end of last October, when most world markets peaked.

The Losses: $15 trillion, or about 21 times the $700 billion bank bailout package and more than the annual gross domestic product of the United States.

The Speed: It took four years for markets to build that $15 trillion worth of value, but just one to give it all back, including about one third of the declines during the market free fall between mid-September and mid-November.

Still, Gaunt notes that last week was positive for stocks and as of late Monday markets looked at least reasonably calm.

A week is a long time in financial markets as well as politics, but if the index manages to end this week in the black as well, it will be the first time since spring that it has had back-to-back positive weeks. Great oaks out of little acorns grow—even if the forest has been burned to the ground.