Saturday, October 19, 2013

Nine things that cost less than the government shutdown

The government shutdown may have ended before the U.S. defaulted on its debt and caused worldwide financial calamity, but the economic impact from the 16-day standoff in Congress still came with a hefty price tag.

Economists at Standard & Poor's estimate the total cost of the shutdown to be about $24 billion.

So, with that whopping number in mind, here are nine things that are less than the cost of our government being shut down for a mere two weeks and two days:

•IBM's third-quarter revenues. IBM, one of the world's largest companies, reported on Wednesday third-quarter revenues of $23.7 billion — almost exactly what economists estimate the total cost of the shutdown to be. It was a four percent drop for IBM, but unlike the government, which last shut down in 1995, IBM reports earnings every quarter.

•The American Red Cross's total yearly operating expenses... multiplied by seven. The American Red Cross posted total operating expenses of $3.3 billion for FY2012, according to the relief organization's chief financial officer. Multiply that by seven and you still don't quite reach $24 billion.

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