Monday, December 15, 2008

A Billion Dollar Wish

I continue to follow the Madoff case closely. It's the who's who of the money world, many of whom were taken for huge sums of money.

It makes me wonder... what would I do with a billion dollars?

First, I had to be sure what a billion was. I asked Ben.

So, it's 1,000 million, right? 800, 900 million, then a billion.


You sure?

Yes, Mom.

We won't mention that I worked at an investment firm. I will say not one of the clients had that kind of money- I didn't need to know the right number of zeros for a billion.

These days, talking about a million almost seems trite when hundreds of billions are being talked about daily in the newspapers. Most people in the world will never see anything close to a million dollars. Ever.

When I read about these clients who had massive losses, people who lost nearly a billion dollars... I wonder.

What would I do with a billion? 1,000 million dollars. It's an absurd number. I would have a few absurd things to do. Like buy a jet. I hate airports, I hate having to strip to my socks when I board a plane. I'd buy a jet. I have no idea why I thought of that first except we're getting ready to travel in airports over the holidays and there will certainly be problems.

I'd buy land and have a world wide competition to design the most amazing, beautiful LGBT center for Boston. We don't have one. I'd made it happen.

Next on the list would be to create a 100 million dollar scholarship fund for artists. Little broader than Ruth Lilly who gave Poet's Magazine 100 million.

And before I knew it, even if I was invested in the most conservative vehicles, I would have made the money back that I just spent on my plane, my LGBT center and my arts program. I'd have to start over again.

Maybe it's me but I simply do not understand that kind of money. And I understand money.

What would you do with a billion- don't forget all the zeros and how quickly it grows at that size...

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Blogger Ms. Moon said...

Uh. I think the first thing I'd do would be to buy really good health insurance.
After that- who cares? I already have everything I need. As to what I want? Maybe two weeks in Mexico would be really good. And someone to come in and clean for me.
Beyond that, I can't even imagine.

8:54 PM  
Anonymous donald said...

thank god i don't need any money to make me happy! give me great friends, which i have, good food, which i have regularly, and good vodka, which i also have regularly!

9:10 PM  
Blogger Suzy said...

wow what couldn't you do with a billion dollars. Every where I look around here could use a boost.
you could play secret santa all year round that would be awesome. I already have a running list of things that I would do with a lot less than that to help improve the quality of life I see sinking deeper everyday within our community. Nobody should have that much money and feel good about keeping it to themselves.

10:29 PM  
Blogger Lula de Montes said...

Set aside money for the munchkin's studies, buy the house next door, renovate, and then give away all the remaining 95%. Money doesn't make you happy, I think. Comfortable, maybe. But money can't buy you a brain or emotions. Just my two cents' worth.

12:39 AM  
Blogger Ulla said...

Invest it, obviously, as you suggest. With the proceeds I would first buy a nice house for my family. I probably wouldn't work anymore, and most of all, I would stop worrying about money.
Then, I would buy the expensive gizmos our health care system apparently can't afford - the state of the art-things.
I would invest a lot with Grameen bank - cheap loans for poor people to do something with.

2:25 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

oh donald, don't be such a fuddy-duddy. how about buy huge pieces of land up there in maine and make them wild forever?

7:56 AM  
Blogger Rev. Bob said...

You trade money for aggravation.

You put up with aggravation to earn money, and you avoid aggravation by having enough money to satisfy your needs and wants.

If you keep an ledger for aggravation alongside your financial ledgers, you might discover the sweet spots.

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would pay my electric bill in full, so they do not shut it off. again.
Then i would give everyone i love 10 million dollars.
Then i would buy a brownstone in the bk and a house on the water somewhere where it is always warm.

8:29 AM  
Blogger Rev. Bob said...

I remember a fund the students at the university where I went to school set up called the Difference Fund. Financial aid only went so far. Other expenses prevented an education at this rather expensive University from being available to everyone. We believed it should be. The Difference Fund filled in those gaps.

If I had a lot of money I'd find gaps like that and think of how to fill them most efficiently.

And then I'd go find some more gaps.

8:30 AM  
Anonymous lez zorba said...

There's a popular quote - " You can never be too rich or too thin." Obviously, not true. A billion dollars would be a huge problem in my life and I wouldn't want it. Ten million, however, would be just fine.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Deb on the Rocks said...

I would buy an island and an airplane and a city full of people to watch from my cafe.

Plus, monkeys!

12:51 PM  
Blogger Nulaanne said...

The first thing I would do is pay for collage for all the kids in the famly. Build the house that Honey and I want, buy two cars mid-size, put away enought to retire on. Then start giving it away, Dogstown, then there is an orgnization that is drilling wells for clean water, health care centers for Americans who can't afford any. BoysTown, Stonewall Youth, St. Judes Childerns hospital, anything that benifits teens. ASPCA, Lambada, the list could go no forever.

3:06 AM  

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