WAGES OF SIN
Enron's (in)famous "disco E" — the multicolored lobby display that's been featured in so many TV-news shots — fetched a price of $33,000 at auction last December. Meanwhile, the 1999 Lincoln Navigator that ferried chairman Kenneth Lay and his desperate, last-minute merger proposal to crosstown rival Dynegy sold for $23,500. An Enron flag went for $700.
ALL IN A DAY'S WORK
At last count, Bill Gates was worth some $52.8 billion. He's been at Microsoft since the spring of 1975, when he started the company with Paul Allen. That means he's been on the job for 28 years. With 52 weeks per year, 5 working days per week, and assuming no vacation, Gates has made $7,252,747 per day since Microsoft began. Not bad for a Harvard dropout.
CEOS ARE WORTHLESS (NOT MINE)
Only 41% of people say that CEOs in general are worth their high salaries. But when asked about their own company, a whopping 73% think that their CEOs deserve a fat paycheck. Source: Gallup Organization
CHANGE ON THE CHEAP
Fifty-four percent of workers say that it would take only a 5% to 10% increase in total compensation to persuade them to leave their current job. No word on how much they'd pay for their boss to leave.
Source: Towers Perrin
"I'm not a paranoid, deranged millionaire. Goddamnit, I'm a billionaire."
- Howard Hughes
"What's the use of happiness? It can't buy you money."
- Henny Youngman
"If you owe the bank $100, that's your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that's the bank's problem."
- J. Paul Getty (pictured, right)
(LEGAL) TENDER OFFERINGS
Number of notes per day produced by the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, with a face value of approximately $696 million; 45% of the notes printed are $1 bills.
The cost to print a single U.S. currency note.
A stack of U.S. currency that reaches a mile high would contain this many bills.
Number of times that you can double-fold a U.S. currency note before it will tear.
U.S. currency is made of 75% cotton and 25% linen and has red and blue fibers distributed evenly throughout the paper.
The largest U.S. currency note ever printed by the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing was a $100,000 bill. It was issued in 1934 and 1935 only to Federal Reserve Banks and was never put into general circulation.
A version of this article appeared in the March 2003 issue of Fast Company magazine.