Today, Greenspan said that the mortgage crisis may ultimately cost between $200 and $400 billion. Lest you think that is a lot of money, he said that total "hedgeable [sic.] assets" worldwide are about $100 trillion.
So, the mortgage problem is big in absolute terms, but it would be the equivalent of writing down 2/10ths of one percent of worldwide assets. Given that my portfolio has seemed to move by about 2% every day of this year, I'm going to assume that the world economy can absorb a hit of this magnitude.
Some people say that to be truly rich is to love what you do. Me? I say that to be truly rich is to shrug off a $400 billion loss. I don't mean to brag, but I suddenly feel pretty flush.