3. Set-up shot of granddaughter of debt clock inventor Helena Durst
4. SOUNDBITE: (English) Helena Durst, granddaughter of debt clock inventor:
"If you notice the dollar sign, we actually had to add a dollar sign and a one. It looks a little bit squished together. We had to squeeze everything together."
5. Close of clock
6. SOUNDBITE: (English) Helena Durst, granddaughter of debt clock inventor:
"And also highlight the amount of debt that each child is born into this nation which is about 30-thousand dollars"
7. People walking
8. SOUNDBITE: (English) Catherine Jones, Vox pop:
"It's pretty scary, it's a pretty big number."
9. Close of clock
10. SOUNDBITE: (English) Avi Goldenberg, Vox pop:
"I think we'll be able to handle it, we've got a strong economy, we'll walk through it, just got to have a strong stomach, steel up."
11. Pan from Internal Revenue Service building to clock
12. SOUNDBITE: (English) William Grams, Vox pop:
"I'm starting to wonder when we're going to start questioning the US government's credit rating. And you know the Federal Reserve's balance sheet is going to be just as risky as all the banks they're saving because they're taking on all this stuff."
In a sign of the times, the National Debt Clock in New York City has run out of digits to record the growing figure.
As a short-term fix, the digital dollar sign on the billboard-style clock near Times Square has been switched to a figure - the "1" in 10 (tr) trillion US dollars.
It's marking the federal government's current debt at about 10.2 (tr) trillion US dollars.
The Durst Organisation says it plans to update the sign next year by adding two digits.
That will make it capable of tracking debt up to a quadrillion dollars.
The late Manhattan real estate developer Seymour Durst put the sign up in 1989 to call attention to what was then a 2.7 (tr) trillion US dollars debt.
Helena Durst, the inventor's granddaughter, explains the recent modifications: "if you notice the dollar sign. We actually had to add a dollar sign and a one. It looks a little bit squished together. We had to squeeze everything together."
The clock was briefly retired, for two years, from 2000 to 2002, because the clock couldn't display a declining number.