The American government has been spending a lot of money lately. The Federal Reserve backed a $29 billion guarantee to help J.P, Morgan Chase buy Bear Steans. Then the Fed took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, pledging up to $100 billion per agency. Most recently, the Fed loaned a cool $85 billion to A.I.G., apparently so it doesn’t go under.
Now news comes from East Africa, via the United Nations, saying that nations in the horn of Africa need $700 million to make sure that 17 million people don’t starve to death, according to the BBC.
Note that that is million, not billion. East Africa needs $700 MILLION.
Just to put into perspective the enormous difference between a million and a billion:
- a million seconds is one week, four days, and change.
- a billion seconds is 31 years, 251 days, and change.
So, million and billion sound alike, but are actually, well, an order of magnitude different.
I know we need to invest some money to save the economy. But maybe just a smidgen to save 17 million people would be a good idea too. I’m just saying.