People sometimes say "If I had all the money in the civilization ..." in order to talk about what they would certainly execute if they had no financial constraints. I'm curious, though, what would certainly happen if one perboy had actually all of the world's money?

Daniel Pino

So you've somehow discovered a method to gather all the world's money. We won't concern about just how you did it—let's just assume you developed some kind of money-summoning magic spell.

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Physical currency—coins and bills—represents simply a small portion of the world's wide range. In concept, you might modify all the residential property records on Planet to say that you own all the land and modify all the banking records to say you very own all the money. But everyone else would certainly disagree via those documents, and they would modify them ago or ignore them. Money is an idea, and also you can't make the entire people respect your idea.

Getting all the world's cash, on the various other hand also, is a lot more straightforward. There's a specific amount of cash in the world—it's around $4 trillion—and also you want it all.

It won't necessarily do anything for you, since—without the collaboration of the outside world—you more than likely won't be able to spend it. But maybe you can swim approximately in it, favor Scrooge McDuck in his large room complete of gold.


So you cast your magic spell and summon all the money.

The pile of cash is the size of the Empire State Building, but heavier. You most likely don't desire to be standing under it, so let's assume you're standing over here, off to the side:


The substantial majority of the weight in the pile is coins, and the greatest single contributor is the US penny. Regardless of routine efforts to kill off the penny, the US Mint keeps creating even more of them.


Tright here are most likely 150 billion pennies<1>A 1996 GAO report discussed a US Mint estimate of the number of pennies in circulation: 132 billion. If you're excited by phrases like "General Accounting Office", "auditing standards", and also "Subcommittee on Domestic and also Internationwide Monetary Policy", you can check out the report right here.If you're so excited about penny statistics that the GAO report isn't sufficient for you, you're in luck: There's one more method to derive this number.We have the right to acquire an principle of the variety of pennies in circulation by looking at all the change in our pockets, counting the dates, and utilizing that to estimate a loss price. In 1999, some statisticians taped the dates on 1,000 pennies they had lying roughly, and also publiburned the data in the book Workshop Statistics: Discoincredibly with Data and Fathom, page 389. By plotting the frequency through which they saw pennies of assorted ages versus the frequency we'd expect from US Mint production numbers, we can estimate the rate at which older pennies drop out of circulation per year. Using their numbers, I come up through an estimate of about 190,000,000,000 pennies in circulation.We deserve to then use the very same formula to previous dates, and also come up with a number for 1996, to check against the GAO number. (I have the majority of spare time on my hands.) Surprisingly, this produces an estimate that's still around 190,000,000,000. Either number (190 billion or 132 billion) is more than likely a reasonable estimate, however if you're significant about your penny statistics—and if you've read this much, you should be—you need to more than likely go with the US Mint guess. After all, they presumably recognize a point or two around counting pennies. presently in circulation, for a full weight of over 300,000 lots. In full, US coins and also bills are responsible for about 30% of the pile's weight, while the European Union—which has bacount been minting coins for a decade—contributes 15%.

Unfortunately for you, the pile doesn't stay a pile for lengthy,<2>When you pour several loose material in a heap, it often tends to develop a cone. Different products will certainly create cones with different slopes; the steepness of the slope for a offered material is called its angle of repose.I've never before discovered the precise angle of repose for coins—or had actually enough of them to test it—yet a forum poster via the username Master of Coin (that claims to be well-acquainted with "just how piles of coins 'slish' about") claims that it's more than likely no even more than 5 or 10 degrees. and also what appears like a safe distance isn't so safe.

In 1919, a tank of molasses in Boston collapsed. Molasses is thick, so you might think it would flow out progressively, yet it didn't. The wave of molasses swept dvery own the roads as well fast to outrun, demolishing buildings and also killing 21 people.

Something comparable happens through the pile of coins. As it collapses, the pile spreads outside, a wave of money moving a staggering amount of momentum. The pennies, quarters, loonies, and euros scour the landscape in an widening ring. Within secs, the wave of coins engulfs you and you die.


There are ways to prevent this. You could, say, build a wall about the coins to contain them. Unfortunately, then you can confront a problem worse than death:

Building code violations.

Heavy skyscrapers require ground strong sufficient to assistance them. Places via large high-rise buildings, choose those in Manhattan, need bedrock sturdy sufficient to organize them up.

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<3>For a lengthy time, civilization said that this was why tright here was a gap in Manhattan's skyline—the bedrock wasn't strong enough to support high-rises in the middle. However before, a 2011 paper in the Journal of Economic History says that this is a myth, and also the bedrock had little bit influence on the location of high-rise buildings. A search via this giant PDF of NYC structure codes suggests that if we went ahead through this setup, we would be in significant risk of violating section 1804 ("ALLOWABLE BEARING PRESSURES").