For the price of the Iraq War, we could scatter 40 king-sized Serta mattresses outside the window of each American who owns stocks, so their fall would be cushioned if horror over huge losses caused them to jump out.
63% of American adults own stocks, whether directly or through some investment vehicle like a mutual fund or retirement plan. This comes to about 142 million Americans. A king size Serta Senna mattress costs $439 at Sam's Club. Putting 40 of these mattresses outside each stock-owning American's window would cost $2.49 trillion, which is less than Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes' estimate of $3 trillion for the cost of the Iraq War.