Chicken feet, mortgages and $700 billion
The daily stat from Harvard Business Publications throws up some thought provoking numbers and juxtapositions. This week I’ve learned that – the US exports lots of chicken feet to China; nearly one third of people who purchased homes in the US in the past five year have “under water” mortgages; and that if I had a spare $700 billion I could pay for the UN’s programs to fight hunger and poverty in Africa for 10 years.
Here’s the detail:
In the first half of 2008, China imported 420,000 tons of poultry–133,000 tons more than for the same period in 2006. and that the U.S. exported a whopping 300,000 tons to China, supplying the lion’s share of the country’s imports over this 6-month period. Most of it chicken feet which make up more than half of the country’s poultry imports.
Sixteen percent of U.S. homeowners are “under water”: they owe more in mortgages than their homes are worth. This compares with 6% the year before and 4% in 2006. For those who purchased their homes in the last 5 years, the numbers are even worse — 29% owe more than the current value of their homes.
What $700billion could do if it weren’t bailing out the US financial system:
- Pay a year’s wages for 22 million Americans (average weekly pay in August was $612)
- Fund Germany’s national budget for 18 months (Germany’s projected 2009 budget is €288 billion)
- Pay for the UN’s programs to fight hunger and poverty in Africa for 10 years
- Fly to the moon 4 times (NASA’s Apollo program cost about $164 billion in today’s dollars)
I wonder how many chicken feet I get for $700 billion? And would $700 billion put all those mortgages above water?