Hmmm... what to buy for $825 billion?

30th Jan 2009 | Posted by Jeremy Baka Jeremy Baka's picture

Eight-hundred and twenty-five billion dollars ...  (Place your right pinky finger to the side of your lip when you say that.) Lay 825 billion one-dollar bills end-to-end and they would stretch to the moon and back … and to the moon again … and halfway back.  Forget black holes, these babies are green, complements of the U.S. Treasury. 

It’s tough to get your mind around that kind of cash; kind of like trying to explain why Paris Hilton is popular. But, if money can’t buy happiness it sure can keep you busy.  I thought I’d list some ways to spend 825 billion bills.  You have to think big, REAL BIG.  Here are five things you might consider:

Open up a Space Shuttle dealership.  According to NASA, it costs “only” about $2 billion to have your very own Shuttle, so you could have, oh, say, 412 of them at your dealership.  With a top speed of 15,500 miles per hour you’d be sure to attract buyers.  Imagine, by the time you’re finished reading this blog you could have traveled from New York to Los Angeles in a spanking new Shuttle. Lunch at The Ivy in Beverly Hills, dinner at Nobu in New York.  Perfect.  (Of course, with $825 billion you could simply build a Nobu out by the pool, but that would take too long.) And gas prices won’t affect these babies. No siree. All they require is a blend of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen … 500,000 gallons of it. 

Buy Australia.  Since Australia has a Gross National Product of $655 billion this would be an excellent investment, and there would be $170 billion left over to by the neighbor’s place, too, New Zealand. (GNP: $44 billion.) That makes plenty of landmass to build big outlandish American homes, plenty of Space Shuttle dealerships, parking garages and, of course, prisons. 

Pay the full four-year tuition for every Harvard student though the year 2100. It costs about $45,000 a year to attend Harvard, so why not take care of the tab for the rest of the century.  Maybe someone in one of the classes over the next 90+ years will figure out a way to keep us out of the next $825 billion mess.

Buy all three of the Big Three automakers.  According to industry experts, the combined value of Chrysler, Ford and GM is about $42 billion.  Forget about buying that 18-year-old daughter the car she’s always wanted, by her the car company she’s always wanted.  Best of all, $42 billion still leaves you with $783 billion.  With that bit of cash you could retrofit your new car companies and have them start cranking out the completely hot, and completely electric, Tesla Roadster. It costs just $100,000.  Peanuts! And with all that “marketing money” you have left over, you could give away millions of the cars for free as a cool “Oprah-style” PR stunt: “And YOU get a car, and YOU get a car, and …"

End Hunger in the U.S.  According to a recent article in The New York Times, “it would cost America an additional $24 billion per-year to end hunger [in the U.S.].” Phtt. That’s pennies for someone with a $825 billion wallet. You could end hunger for 35 years. Not a bad New Year’s resolution.



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