Here's what a trillion looks like: 1,000,000,000,000. I don't know what 1.1 trillion looks like, and I can't do it on the Mac calculator because it doesn't have enough space on the screen for all the noughts. (Actually, neither does my rather groovy, classic design icon Braun calculator. And I've run out of fingers.)

But it does raise the question, in my sorry, innumerate mind: what's the .1 for? Is it some cunning device to make 1 trill look ever so slightly more generous, the obverse of a retailer selling stuff for 99.99, so that it's - hey - less than 100? Even at this dizzying level of interplanetary finance, the bargain makers are at work.

Still, I suppose it could have been worse: the offer of a set of free towels or an alarm clock radio might just have brought us all out on the streets. Come to think of it...

No comments: