What would you do with $50 billion?

According to this Forbes article Bill Gates is worth about $52.8 billion today. Forgetting for a moment that most of that money is in the form of stock shares assume you had that money available to spend. Let’s also assume that you want to keep $5 billion dollars for yourself since that should still allow you to maintain whatever lifestyle you have become accustomed to leaving you with $45 billion to blow.

What would you do with that money?

Me, I’d buy Chicago a new mass transit system. I’m tired of riding the loud, crappy El. Of course, with that money I doubt I’d be riding the El anymore but I love Chicago and woudn’t forget the crappy rides I experienced on my way to the top. Having no real idea how much such a thing would cost I’d still be surprised if the bill came to more than $20 billion for the latest, greatest mass transit system the world has seen yet.

With the remaing $25 billion I think I’d buy the Sears Tower and make it my home. IIRC that building should run around $2 billion to purchase. Obviously that’d be a ridiculously stupid building to have as a house and I’d never likely see most of it but who gives a crap. It’d be conspicuous consumption at its greatest! Add in another billion for refurbishing I’d leave my remaining $22 billion to pay for upkeep and a squad of missile toting guards to shoot down any airliners that strayed too close to my house.

[singing] I’d buy you 45,000 K-Cars. Some nice Reliant automobiles[/singing]. :smiley:

Zev Steinhardt

44 billion - women & booze
1 billion - I’d just waste it on something frivilous

Think of all the peanuts you could buy!!!

50 billion US dollars? :smiley: :smiley: The first thing I’d do would be to hire a pack of really good lawyers, accountants, bankers, etc. :slight_smile:

I’d skim a billion off the top for personal uses.

Then I’d set up a charitable foundation with half of it as investment capital, and start making donations worldwide to arts, cultural, and selected political organizations, from the investment income.

With the other 24 billion, I’d start reparing the damage that years of shortsighted underfunding and neglect have done to our cities.

Example: in the Greater Toronto Area, I’d start by spending a billion a year over the next five years to shore up the crumbling tranportation system. 800 million a year would go into repairing and extending the existing transit system: repairing and cleaning tunnels and stations, buying new buses and streetcars, completing the planned and projected subway and streetcar lines… the other 200 million would go to repairing the roads and pushing for things such as scheduling changes so that the rush hour crush would be diffused.

Another grant would fund low-cost housing, help the homeless, and help tide the hospitals and schools over until they can be put on a more stable footing.

A separate grant would go to creating and strengthening regional political organizations to coordinate the whole area better.

Yes, once Canada patriates its monarchy, and we have native-born royalty, and I’m elected Duke of Toronto… [sub]umm, wait a minute, that wasn’t what we were talking about at all…[/sub]

I sincerely hope I’d give $51.8 billion to a worthy cause - Argentina, for example. Five’s far too generous: nobody needs more than one billion. :wink:

Start a filmmaker-based film studio. Invest a few billion of it to keep the studio going. Make good movies without having to worry about the bottom-line.

Ah, dreaming is nice. :slight_smile:

Yes, I would like to Super-Size that meal. :slight_smile:

That reminds me. I’d buy the Star Wars franchise from George Lucas. The very next Star Wars movie would open with a gruesome seen detailing the death of Jar Jar Binks. Beyond that I’d turn it over to the Coen brothers to flesh out.

I’d also buy the Star Trek franchise just cuz…

I think I’d still have enough money left over to heat my 110 story house.

I’d rebuild the Palestinian’s infrastructure, provide them with some decent housing and intrest free loans to start businesses. Anything to give those people some hope and maintain peace in the region.

The rest I’d probably use to buy farming and water well supplies for hungry countries. Most in Africa would qualify, Afghanistan, etc.

If anything was left over, I’d probably start collecting Cobras, Ferraris, and… you know… cool stuff.

While this is all fine and noble have fun here! Think BIG projects to get a sense of just how much money you really have to play with. Send food to Afghanistan? Why? Just buy the country…you probably could. With a GDP of about $3 billion dollars and a war depressing the nation you could probably get it cheap. With about 24,000,000 people in the country who have an average GDP per capita of $178 ( 1999 ) you could afford to give every man, woman and child in the country 10x their average annual income and still have a few billion left over.

Same with the West Bank and Gaza. Go in and just buy all the land. I’m sure the Israelis would be happy to sell it. Then you can turn around and give the land to whomever you please.

Probably wouldn’t change me a bit.

I’m sure I would show up at my job tomorrow morning, since I DO find it so fulfilling.

And my 78 LTD is still running pretty good. Maybe I’d take that red tape off and get a real tail light.

I might get cable.

I’d hire new programmers to make the next upgrades of Word and Windows and Explorer less frustrating.

I’d buy Israel, kick everyone out, and cheese off everyone in Western Civilization with the idea that an atheist is occupying their holy land. :smiley:

Either that, or I’d buy a whole lotta Jelly Bellies. :wink:

"Probably wouldn’t change me a bit."

There’s my chuckle for the day.

I would kinda like to own Lake Tahoe. How 'bout I buy EVERYBODY out there and save that lake proper once and for all. I’ll send y’all a postcard.


Half of it for all that humanitarian stuff that one is obligated to discuss in such situations.
The other half: I’ve always wanted a private island. Maybe I could buy up someplace, like, say a Virgin Island and live happily ever after.

First, I’d buy Guam. Just because it’s Guam.
I would also like to pull the necessary strings until I achieved the ultimate goal of having the word ‘color’ permanantly changed to it’s English spelling in schools throughout the United States. Color spelled any way but colour just isn’t, isn’t, amusing.
Thirdly, I would convert in excess of $100,000,000 of the remaining 45 billion in question into those 10,000 dollar bills we used to issue back in the 40’s, and then give a handful or so to random people on the street whenever I went out in my car.

I’d start a record label: Naked Mammoth Records, and sign my as-of-yet unformed group. Then, I’d promote several useless but moderately loyal friends up through the ranks.
The only other thing I’d really like to do is pay people to move my friends’ homes while they were out for the day…just so I could watch the looks on the said friends’ faces as they realized that their house was suddenly and inexplicably gone, and replaced by something strangely mundane…like one of those orange payphones so popular in England in the sixties, or the blatantly bland PARK BENCH. The only bad part is that you can only do something like that once. Otherwise people catch on and it stops being funny, it’s just that stupid asshole moving peoples’ houses again.

I’d play Whack-a-Mole.

I would purchase the SDMB a second hamster so the first one could have a friend.