It's been widely reported that JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) will pay $13 billion to settle with regulators to end a host of investigations surrounding its mortgage unit from before the financial crisis. To put that amount in perspective, let's consider 13 things that are surprisingly smaller than 13 billion.
JPMorgan's settlement would make it the 121st largest country by GDP last year, eclipsing Chad, which had a GDP of just north of $11 billion.
According to Forbes, that's the combined value of the eight major professional sports teams in New York -- the Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets, Knicks, Nets, Rangers, and Islanders. And it's still about $4.5 billion short of what Jamie Dimon and team may pay out.
At the time of writing, that's how many people there are in the world.
In 2012, Google averaged a little over 5 billion searches per day, so it would take two and a half days of having people search on their browsers to hit 13 billion.
The BP Deepwater Horizon is estimated to have spilled about 4.9 million barrels of oil. That means you could have collected 2.8 billion pint glasses' worth of oil during the cleanup effort.
There are about 57 billion servings of beverages in the world each day -- and Coca-Cola accounts for 1.8 billion of them. Thirteen billion is roughly one week's worth of Coca-Cola beverage servings.
As of the most recent annual report, Wal-Mart has a little more than 989 million square feet of stores around the world. That means Wal-Mart would have to grow 13 times larger before it hit 13 billion square feet.
That's the number of inches of Interstate 10 -- which stretches from Jacksonville, Fla., to Santa Monica, Calif.
As of Jan. 1 of this year, there were 89.3 million cows in the United States.
McDonald's serves around 69 million customers per day -- which means it would take six months before McDonald's sold to 13 billion customers.
Michael Jordan scored 32,292 points in his NBA career. We would need to see a little over 400,000 more careers from Michael Jordan for him to hit 13 billion points.
That's the number times you could go to the moon and back before you reached 13 billion miles on your spaceship.
As in three days. According to the World Bank, 2.4 billion people lived on less than $2 a day in 2010. That means that JPMorgan could sustain a little more than a third of the world's population for three days with the amount of its settlement.
While many people may bemoan the $13 billion charge, keep all these figures in mind, because it's easy for all of us to lose our sense of perspective when numbers get this big.
Beyond the settlement
If you thought $13 billion was big, consider that the U.S. government has piled on more than $10 trillion of new debt since 2000. Annual deficits topped $1 trillion after the financial crisis. It's all left millions of Americans to ask: What the heck is going on?
The Motley Fool's new free report "Everything You Need to Know About the National Debt" walks you through with step-by-step explanations about how the government spends your money, where it gets tax revenue from, the future of spending, and what a $16 trillion debt means for our future. Click here to read the full report!