Saturday, May 24, 2008

Cashing A $360 Billion Check

The Fort Worth police recently arrested a man accused of trying to cash a $360 billion check. The police reported that he stole the check from his girlfriend's mother and made it out to a company he was planning to start.

I have to give him credit for thinking big:-) The check amount was greater than the $62 billion net worth of Warren Buffett, the world's richest individual as of February 11, 2008. In addition, the amount was more than the revenue of any one corporation in the 2008 Fortune 500 except for two, Wal-Mart and Exxon.

Finally, if the bank had honored the check, he would have faced a few issues with accepting the money. First, the bank probably did not have sufficient funds on hand. For reference, in 2005, there was $760 billion in circulation, with half to two thirds being held overseas. Second, $360 billion wouldn't easily fit into a briefcase. One million dollars in $100 bills weighs 22 pounds and takes up.016666 cubic yards. $360 billion would weigh 396 tons and take up 599.98 cubic yards. The space needed is the equivalent of 60 large dump trucks, if the $100 bills are stacked neatly.

Now that would have been a interesting withdrawal to witness :-)

For more on Reflections and Musings, check back every Saturday for a new segment.

This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

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