In other numbers…
When presented with stupefying numbers, itâ€™s sometimes fun, and usually cathartic, to boil them down into more tangible figures, give them household values and nod our heads in wonder. Late last week, when word that AIGâ€™s quarterly loss would come in at $60 billion or thereabouts, we started hitting the division key just to make ourselves feel better. Turns out, AIG lost $61.7 billion, but whatâ€™s another $1.7 billion when taxpayers are working up a $1 trillion borrowing spree?
AIG’s loss per day in the fourth quarter was $670.2 million. Thatâ€™s a $27.9 million hourly loss. Divide again and again and you get $465,000 per minute and $7,750 a second. Though not really a GAAP measurement, assume for a moment that at rest a standard human breath takes about two seconds. So AIGâ€™s quarterly loss was about $15,000 per life-giving gulp of air.
The heart of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, the most common species of Hummingbird in the eastern half of North America, beats 250 times per minute at rest, so thatâ€™d be $1,860 per Hummingbird heartbeat of quarterly losses for AIG. When it’s feeding, the hummingbird’s heart beat races up towards 1,200 or more beats per second, deflating the value of each itty bitty beat down to around $274.
The $30.9 billion net loss GM reported for all of 2008 comes out to $84.7 million per day, or 1,085 top-end Hybrid Cadillac Escalades at todayâ€™s low low price of $77,000. It would have paid to be green, though, because the loss would only have bought 21.2 million gallons of gasoline at the $4 per gallon, or about 5.6 percent of what American’s consume in a day.
And one more for the record books, the 1.87 billion shares of Citigroup traded on the NYSE on Friday, a day when the stock fell 39 percent, appears to have set a new record for number of shares traded on a single stock in one day, beating out WorldComâ€™s 1.51 billion on a bleak day for that long-gone company back in 2002.
* IPC Holdings said it agreed to acquire Max Capital Group for about $912 million in stock to create a stronger capitalized insurance company.
* Japan’s Fujitsu said it agreed to buy Telstra Corp’s IT services unit KAZ Group for A$200 million ($128 million).
* Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway said it increased its stake in POSCO, the South Korean steelmaker, to 5.2 percent as of end-2008 from 4.5 percent a year earlier.
* Abu Dhabi’s Aabar Investments PJSC said it had bought 49.8 million euros ($63.12 million) of convertible bonds in UniCredit SpA as Italian banks seek capital to face the global crisis.
* Turkey’s top mobile phone operator Turkcell will begin work on a binding bid for 100 percent of Macedonian peer Cosmofon, Turkcell said.
*Â U.S. industrial group Emerson Electric bid around $179 million or 5.20 Norwegian crowns per share for Norwegian oilfield technology firm Roxar ASA, the companies said.
* Investment group Evolve Capital agreed to sell its majority stake in Blue Oar to rival WH Ireland, potentially creating the leading stockbroker on London’s junior AIM market.
* A Thai brokerage unit of Singapore’s UOB Kay Hian Holdings Ltd and a bigger Thai rival, BFIT Securities, said they had called off talks about a merger, sending their shares tumbling.
* UK-based NeutraHealth confirmed that the unsolicited offer approach from India’s Elder Pharmaceuticals at an indicative price of 5.5 pence per share was likely to be solely in cash.
* Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia is among three or four foreign banks interested in buying a 48 percent stake in Thailand’s Siam City Bank, the Thai bank said.
* South African bourse operator JSE is in talks to buy a stake in the Mauritius Stock Exchange, its deputy chief executive said.
* Hutchison Telecommunications said it was in “advance discussions” with its advisers concerning a possible spin-off of its Hong Kong and Macau businesses but that no decision had yet been made.
* India’s Reliance Industries decided to absorb its Reliance Petroleum unit through a share swap, a strategy which will boost its earnings potential without diluting its capital greatly.
* Fidelity has raised its stake in embattled Indian outsourcer Satyam Computer Services by 0.27 percent to 10.17 percent through open market purchases, it said in a regulatory filing to the stock exchange.
(PHOTO: A call centre personnel uses a calculator as she answers a call from a investor at an online brokerage company in Tokyo October 23, 2008. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao)