Crisis? What crisis? A bit of perspective, please

February 6, 2009


Here are a couple of interesting calculations. The US is debating whether to hand over another $700 billion (let’s get those zeros right, we’re talking about $700,000,000,000) to the banks. Forget the $500 billion they’ve already handed over. The world is inhabited by 6,700,000,000 people, give or take a few million born while I’m writing this. Divide the US banks’ $700 billion by the number of inhabitants and you get about $104 million per inhabitant. That’s perspective.

So let’s do the same for Spain (you can do your own maths for whatever ‘developed’ country you like if you have the figures). The population of Spain at the end of 2008 was 46,063,511. The amount of money Zapatero is handing over to the banks so far is €30,000,000,000. Divide the money among the inhabitants (we wish!) and you get €652,000,000 per inhabitant. That’s perspective, and enough to pay a mortgage or two. It would be handy to all those thrown out of their jobs by greedy companies taking advantage of the Crisis (yes, it has to be in caps).

Better not even try doing any of these figures for the banking executives’ bonuses, it would be too depressing…

(c) Alexander Bewick 2009


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