Government 
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WIN: Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae Bailed Out

300 Billion Cost of Freddie Mac Fannie Mae BailoutThe estimated cost of the bailout of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae is $300 billion, that’s if their loan books only suffer 5% loss. For some, that 5% guess is a little low, for others it’s on target.

Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae 52-Week Stock Price RangeWhen Freddie Mac (FRE) and Fannie Mae (FNM) were taken into conservatorship, their common stock was essentially rendered valueless. The numbers you see are their 52-week stock price ranges as of Wednesday (9/10/08) and it’s a pretty grisly sight isn’t it? Why are people buying the stock? You never know what can happen. Bear Stearns was sold for $2 a share yet people kept buying it, a week later the price was revised to $10 a share. You never know!

$24M Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae CEO Executive CompensationWant to get fired up about something? How much do you think you can get to run Freddie Mac into the ground? What about Fannie Mae? Exiting CEO Syron of Freddie Mac may get between $12m and $14m. Exiting CEO Mudd of Fannie Mae could get anywhere from $7m to $9m. [Newsday] It’s hard work getting the “sponsored” out of “government sponsored entities.” (apparently it was harder at Freddie Mac!)

$12 trillion housing marketAnd, to put all these numbers in this perspective, the mortgage market is about $12 trillion a year.


 Cars 
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WIN: Car Fuel Efficiency Monitor Gauge Prices

This week’s Week in Numbers requires a bit of an introduction. One of my new favorite blogs is Ecomodder, a site all about modifying your car to make it more efficient and environmentally friendly. This week Ben wrote an article about gas mileage monitors that are, for the most part, easy to install.

(Click to continue reading…)


 General 
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WIN: NBC’s 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics by Numbers

This week, in lieu of a Week in Numbers, I give you NBC’s 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics by Numbers.

My favorite numbers of the bunch?

  • $25,000 – The amount each Olympic athlete is given by the USOC for a gold medal.
  • 44 – The number countries with apparel deals with Nike at the Olympics, there are 204 countries participating in total.
  • 0 – How much Michael Phelps will pay to eat pizza at Pizza Hut for the next year (all because he broke Spitz’s single-Games gold medal count record, I had no idea he did that)

 General 
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WIN: I Love The Olympics

9500000 pesos: First Philippine Olympic GoldCNN reported that the Philippine government has offered 9.5 million pesos to any athlete who brings home their first-ever Olympic gold medal. The government ponied up the first five mil and private businesses kicked up the remaining. According to Wikipedia, there are 15 competitors in 8 sports in the 2008 Games and their chances look as good as they did the last two games where they blanked on medals in Sydney and Athens.

2.0 billion yuan spent on China Olympic TeamAccording to The Epoch Times, China spent approximately 2.0 billion yuan (~$292 million USD) on its delegation across the four years of preparation. China has 639 competitors in the Beijing Games, putting the cost of each competitor at about half a million dollars over four years.

$100000000 Opening Ceremony CostAccording to NPR, the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics cost about $100 million. That makes it about half a million per minute ($476k) and about eight grand spent each second. Absolutely AMAZING.

Finally, Beijing National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest, cost an estimated 4 billion yuan, or about half a billion US dollars according to Wikipedia.

And absolutely no mention of Michael Phelps and 8. Well, until I mentioned that I didn’t mention it. :)


 Shopping 
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WIN: iPhone Mania Is Ridiculous

$200 iPhone VouchersWhen the first iPhone was released, the sticker price was six hundred dollars. That’s six hundred just for the unit, not counting the monthly plan. A scant two months later, Apple dropped the price by two hundred bones and gave all those suckers early adopters some vouchers to use at their store. And you know what? All those early adopters are still lining up to get their fix. L. Ron Hubbard ain’t got crap on Steve Jobs.

$999.99 Price of iPhone App I Am Rich$999.99 is the price for Armin Heinrich’s I Am Rich iPhone app that does absolutely nothing except flaunt your wealth to the world. It was available for one day until Apple pulled it but that didn’t stop eight people from buying it. Six were from the United States, one was from Germany, and the last was from France. Heinrich pocketed a cool $5,600 for his trouble. Not bad.

75 Days to Sell 1 Million iPhonesIt took Apple a mere 75 days to sell one million iPhones. Seventy five days… that’s 13,333.33 iPhones a day. The scary part is that iPhones flew off the shelves most rapidly after the price drop on September 5th. From September 5th to September 9th (the day they sold their one millionth), they sold 27,000 iPhones a day versus the 9,000 a day they were previously recording.

Now I’m going to go out and buy an iPhone.


 Government 
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WIN: 2009 Projected Deficit: $482 Billion

That’s the projected deficit for the U.S. Government in 2009.

Kind of takes your breath away, doesn’t it?


 Credit 
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WIN: Debt Figures Are Amazing

$962 B in Revolving Consumer DebtAccording to the Federal Reserve, report in a NYTimes article, Americans have nearly a trillion dollars of revolving debt (which includes credit card debt). That’s a lot of debt… oh yeah, total consumer debt is $2.57 trillion. Amazing right?



Capital One Total Compensation Those are two really big numbers huh? Well, if you were John Adams Kansas, President – Banking of Capital One Financial Corp., then that top number would be your total compensation package for 2007. If you were Richard D. Fairbank, Chairman, President and CEO of Capital One Financial Corp., then that bottom number would be your total compensation for 2007. In fact, if you were Richard D. Fairbank, you’d probably be upset about your number because it’s 45.5% less than what you got in 2006, which was nearly $37.5 million dollars.

Before people get all upset that they’re making so much money, their salaries are $0. Their bonuses are $0. It’s all in stock. I’m not pointing their salaries because I think it’s excessive, though they might be, I wanted to point out how ridiculous those numbers are. (Data taken from the July 2008 issue of Cards & Payments)



$286,000 in DebtThis is the most amazing debt story I’ve ever heard. When the story starts, Diane McLeod tells us that she has $286,000 in debt. Her story is one of misstep after misstep, from rolling her credit card debt (~$25k) into an adjustable rate mortgage ($10k in fees, plus it adjusted) to raiding her 401(k) (which cost $3k in taxes, paid in credit cards). Along the way, she was given shoddy advice from people with their own interests in mind. I’m not absolving her of responsibility but someone had to extend her this credit. She’s not drowning in debt, she’s halfway to the center of the Earth.



Average Number of Credit Cards per Household: 13 This figure is again from the New York Times series The Debt Trap (click on Start and then the lifetime link). The average household has thirteen credit cards. 40% of households carry a credit card balance. While having 13 cards doesn’t mean you’ll use them all, you can’t escape the 40% figure… especially when you couple it with that first number.

Guns won’t bring down America, debt will.


 Personal Finance 
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WIN: Early Adopters Always Pay

$1848 Total Minimum Cost of iPhone 3GThat’s the total minimum financial commitment to owning an iPhone 3G phone. Nearly two thousand dollars. Add a few more bells and whistles and you’re talking more. If you’re curious about the total cost of owning one elsewhere, CBC News has a cool interactive map you can use to navigate the world. (link courtesy of Loonies and Sense)


1,000,000 HD-DVD Players SoldI don’t know where the number stands now but the bigscreen.com announced in January, before HD-DVD knew it lost the format wars to BluRay, that vendors had sold nearly a million HD-DVD players. Those million customers soon discovered they owned a dead format rebranded as “up-sampling DVD players.” Game over. Thanks for your money.


$1.06 Billion Writedown for Microsoft Xbox 360 Technical IssuesEarly adopters of the Microsoft XBox 360, myself included, discovered that the units were experiencing catastrophic technical problems. Later models solved some of the earlier problems and Microsoft increased their warranty to three years and had to take a $1.06 billion write-down in the second quarter of 2007.


$200 iPhone Price DropI couldn’t let Apple off the hook on this one… a scant 68 days after releasing the iPhone for the first time, Apple slashed prices by $200. The 8GB iPhone’s price dropped from $599 to $399. Those who bought within 14 days could get a refund of the difference but the rest had to be happy with a $100 credit at Apple stores. Steve Jobs is too hip and too rich to care about you, but keep on buying his products!


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