World » Americas
Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

US national debt may reach quadrillion dollars

The USA national debt has achieved the number, which cannot fit the renowned debt clock located in the center of New York. The device now is unable to display all the digits of the US national debt, Itar-Tass reports. When the amount of the deferral debt overcame the level of ten trillion dollars, the National Debt Clock near Times Square switched to figure 1 again and began to count the debt from the very start.

The idea to mount the monitor in the center of Manhattan belongs to one of the richest entrepreneurs in the USA, Seymour Durst. He believed that it was extremely important for common Americans to know if the country was living in debt or not. The display went off in September 2000 when the US national debt began to decrease. However, in July 2002 the clock began to count the debt again.

Durst Organization promised to upgrade the display next year by adding two digits to it. This will help the device track the US national debt to a quadrillion dollars.

When the clock was installed in 1989, the US national debt amounted to 2.7 trillion dollars.

According to his son, Seymour Durst had been toying with the basic idea of drawing attention to the growing national debt since at least 1980, when during the holiday season he sent cards that said "Happy New Year. Your share of the national debt is $35,000" to senators and congressmen. In the early eighties, when Durst first developed the idea of a constantly updated clock, the technology required to implement the project was not yet available.

With the national debt at 2.7 trillion dollars, the original 11 by 26 feet (3.4 m × 7.9 m) clock was erected in 1989 a block from Times Square, by Artkraft Strauss. In light of a then-improving debt situation and with the clock being technically unable to properly display a sinking number, the clock was unplugged and covered with a red, white and blue curtain in September 2000, with the national debt standing at roughly 5.7 trillion dollars. However, in July 2002 the curtain was raised and the clock picked up at 6.1 trillion dollars.

In 2004, the original clock was unmounted from its location at 42nd Street and an updated model, which could run backwards, was installed one block away on a Durst building at 1133 Avenue of the Americas, near 44th Street.

Inspired by the example of the National Debt Clock, similar projects were started elsewhere in the United States, as well as in other countries such as Germany.