Monday, 5 October 2009

54 billion mind-boggling reasons to oppose NAMA

Everyone knows by now that we, the taxpayers, have been elected by Brian Lenihan to bail out the banks’ bad loans to the tune of €54 billion (€54,000,000,000). And as Ali G might put it, should he ever do an interview on the subject, “€54 billion is a lot of money, innit?”

But how much is it exactly? If you are not playing Monopoly or you weren’t one of those developers “using earth-movers for dice” in 2006 (as wonderfully put in one of the Sunday's) it's a difficult figure to get your head around.

With that in mind, Gombeen Man has done an enormous amount of painstaking research to contextualise one billion for you. OK, OK, it was a quick websearch leading to Wiki, then.

So all you have to do is multiply what you read below by 54 (don't ask me to contextualise that) to get some idea of what kind of debt we have been signed up for.

In terms of time:

  • One billion seconds is about 31.7 years.

  • About one billion minutes ago, the Roman Empire was flourishing.

  • About one billion hours ago, modern human beings and their ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

  • About one billion months ago, dinosaurs walked the earth during the late Cretaceous Period.

In terms of distance:

  • One billion metres is almost three times the distance from the Earth to the Moon.

  • One billion kilometres is over six times the distance from the Earth to the Sun.

In terms of volume:

  • A billion grains of table salt or granulated sugar would occupy a volume of about two and a half cubic feet.

Get the idea?

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Anonymous said...

gudayMR GM you are right on the money no matter how you pile them a billion beans is a big pile, fortunately for irl it has a big pile of gombeans who have big piles of beans in exotic places the caymans etc,the way i see from my perch here high in beverly hills 54 billion beans is small beans for a great little nation blessed with so many mega gombeans. cheerio

Anonymous said...

In terms of money, in a year with 252 working days and an 8hr day, working at a min wage of 8.35/hr it would take you 3,096,614 years to earn this much. Since the genus Homo only appeared 2.5 million years ago it is true to say no human could earn this much money.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful work GM - just feckin beautiful. In france at present (no vitesse tickets yet) and got an earful from a local about the Irish and Lisbon - i referred him to you and said that I was standing on the same deck as you.

The Gombeen Man said...

Gombeans is right, Mr BH. And yes, there are a lot of them, unfortunately.

Thought-provoking stuff on the minimum wage, Anon. Great way of looking at it. Thanks.

Nice one, PB... let them know we're not all feckin' eejits. And take it easy on the old vitesse!