What If Hurricane Sandy Never Happened?

After wreaking havoc over the Caribbean, taking a toll of 69 lives, hurricane Sandy made its way to the United States eastern seaboard, where it was responsible for at least another 48 deaths.  The strong winds and mass flooding have caused New York and New Jersey to grind to a halt, with 8.2 million citizens living without electricity. As if the death toll wasn’t enough, the full financial implications resulting from Sandy are slowly starting to emerge.

New York’s Subway system has suffered a devastating blow, more severe than anything it has witnessed before. In addition to the flooding in 7 out of the 10 tunnels under the east river, the  damages caused by salt-water will have to be mended before the underground system could work again, which will take days, if not weeks. Restoring the rail-road to its full glory is estimated to cost $10 billion, with an additional $40 billion resulting from the disturbances in transportation.

More than a million homes have already been evacuated and thousands of individuals are likely to file insurance claims for various damages, caused by powerful winds and heavy flooding. In terms of property damages, approximately $10 billion is likely to incurred in insured losses as well as about $12 billion on infrastructure repairs. Fortunately the cumulative efforts of insurance companies should be able to endure the cost.

IHS Global Insight, a forecasting company, predicted up to $30 billion worth of additional loss for businesses. However, this is just another one of many estimates. Short term, the super-storm is speculated to reduce US economic growth by 0.6% in the final quarter of 2012.

For the first time in 27 years, New York’s Stock Exchange as well as the Nasdaq were closed as a result of harsh climate, for 2 whole days. Although the NYSE is expected to handle a serious case of backlog after its closure, historically speaking, the effects of a natural disasters do not have a long term effect stock prices and consequently on USD exchange rates.

Therefore, an analysis on the devastation caused to US economy based on a calculation by yours truly, totalled at just a little over $100 billion. This sum is equal to the total amount of dollars in circulation in1980 and represents about 10% of the current amount of dollars in the US.

So how could that sum of money been otherwise spent? It could have gone towards aiding the nation’s deficit, improve the education system, provide more jobs and help unemployment or even fight world hunger. But that’s kind of boring, don’t you think?

So what else could you do with a $100 billion dollars?

  • Hire the Russian army for a period of 2 years and stage a hostile takeover over the world, making the US supreme leader!
  • Purchase Facebook to spy on your friends’ conversations and stalk the girl you liked since fifth grade.
  • Buy 50,000 US islands at the price of $20,000,000 each and form your own nation.
  • Depositing the money in a Certificate of Deposit at an interest rate of 2.5% a year will yield £6,849,315 a day – that’s $2.5 billion a year.

What would you do with $100 billion dollars???

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