Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How big is a billion?

Big numbers are back in the news today.  It seems timely to offer an update of this post.  Today there will be lots of talk of billions here and billions there: NAMA, the banks, Quinn Insurance.  Just how big is a billion?

Here is me and a million euro in 100 euro notes.

millionI could pick it up, put it in a bag  and walk around without anyone noticing I was carrying a million euro.  What about me and a billion?  The answer is below the fold.

billionI won’t be putting that into a bag anytime soon!  We have already given 11 billion euro (77 pallets of 100 euro notes) to our ailing banks.  They are due to get a lot more as we will learn from announcements later today.

Million and billion might sound similar but in real terms they are worlds apart.  How many times will be hear the word ‘billion’ on the news tonight?

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