Nearly every day we’re greeted with news about the latest company, government program or country that is billions in the red. Recent examples include the Greek government’s total debt of $447 billion, a $2 billion loss for J.P. Morgan and the announcement that the Florida hurricane insurance fund may fall $2 billion short. We’re getting a bit numb, or maybe just accustomed, to massive numbers being thrown about. [Remember when a million dollars was a large sum of money?] Has the sheer size of these figures created a callous attitude towards accountability, responsibility and ethics?
There certainly doesn’t seem to be any sign of a slowdown where debt is concerned. With the numbers growing at a breakneck pace, you may wonder what comes after trillion. When do we begin to worry that we’ve gone too far? Nonillion?
Check out Wikipedia for the names of large numbers. Let’s hope we don’t need them in the near future!