1 Billion

If you haven’t realized it yet, we are in the beginning stages of a worldwide credit meltdown. Over the coming weeks, months and even years we will all feel the pain that collectively we’re all responsible for in living such overtly spoiled lives.

Using our homes as ATM machines. Buying cars we can’t afford. Buying homes we have no business owning (and nobody should have lent the money for in the first place) . These poor choices are coming back with a vengeance.

Fortunately for me, I live in a region of the country that has low population, the housing market is relatively stable and the growth therein has been relatively moderate. So the crash won’t be as hard for us locally. However, in all of this it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that with no credit, there will be no buyers in the mortgage arena. With no buyers, the inventories that already exist will start to get desperate. Add to that the people who are starting to get a little uneasy about that 5/25 ARM they refinanced under 2 years ago. 3 years doesn’t seem such a long time now, and with the highest home inventories seen since 1988 coupled with fewer and fewer buyers, it’s easy to see how lots of people are going to get screwed royally.

Be that as it may, in reading story after story about mortgage and banking institutions that are “in trouble” (to say the least), it’s interesting to note how often the figures being thrown around are in the B-as-in-BILLIONs. It’s easy to forget how much a billion dollars is for the average Joe, considering I will never in my life come anywhere near to a billion of anything, much less dollars.

So here’s a few mind warping statistics on exactly how much a billion is:

  • Starting the day you turn 30, walk around for 8 hours a day (every single day, no holidays!) handing out $600 bucks every single minute to strangers. Don’t stop until your 40th birthday. You just spent a billion.
  • Get a nice “six figure” job somewhere earning $100,000 a year. Now do that job for 10,000 years. You’ve just earned a billion bucks.
  • Put a quarter every 30 seconds in that mechanical horse outside the grocery store and ride it for 3,800 years. You just spent a billion.

I think you get the point.


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