Measured Against Reality

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Poor Ford

Ford recently posted a $5.8 billion third quarter loss. That is a staggering amount of money. I can’t even begin to fathom how a company could lose that much money. Either cars are quite unprofitable, or Ford is poorly managed to a ridiculous degree.

To get some perspective on that staggering amount of money, I did some basic math. Ford lost:

  • $64 million a day
  • $2.69 million an hour
  • $44,000 a minute
  • $745.88 a second


In the time that it takes you to read this sentence, Ford will lose about five thousand dollars. If, by magic, Ford’s losses for the next minute were transferred to my bank account, it would pay for a year of school.

To be fair, Ford is not the worst. In one quarter in 2003, AOL Time Warner posted a $45 billion loss, and they had a $100 billion total loss. They were, almost literally, hemorrhaging money at $3,171 a second. At that rate, they would pay for my entire education in less than a minute.

However, to be entirely fair, the US Government is, quite possibly, the king of spending more than they earn. The largest single-year budget deficit I could find was $477 billion dollars. That’s $15,126 a second, or my entire education in 12 seconds. This year is better, (if over 200 billion is really better), but in the time it took to write this sentence, the government lost $100,000.

Maybe the executives at Ford aren’t in as much trouble as I thought.

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