A good introduction over at Dr Doom.
When people talk about 62T CDS (knowing that the US economy is at what 50? they talk about the notional amount referenced in the derivative contracts (what the payouts are calculated on). The actual money invested is a small fraction of that.
A swap, on a very gross average, will cost you about 200bps or 2% of the amount insured (think of it as insurance premium). In our particular case CDS, the good folks over at RGE estimate it all to be 1T.
How much of that will be claimed? Well, whatever cannot be redeemed in payments for default. Even a dramatic 40% would mean 400B of losses on the system, which is... non trivial, but there it is. Even the 1T is manageable. The US has been paying that much over 7 years for the Iraq war.
Oh and by the way, the debtor at the other end of the swap is nowadays the brand new USSR-A via AIG. At least we know the insurer of last resort has stepped in.
The beast is roaming, free, knowing it has at least a trillion to feed on.