We've wrestled this year with the question of where all the money went, and we're bound to wrestle with it some more in 2009. But here, at least, is one answer to how much money went away. From Bloomberg:
It has been a year of record misery: the largest bankruptcy, bank failure and Ponzi scheme in U.S. history; $720 billion in writedowns and losses by financial institutions; $30.1 trillion in market valuation wiped out.
Yes, that's trillion, $30.1 trillion.
(Thanks, Twitter listener @aimeesblog)