In a time when many Americans are losing their homes, their jobs, and their retirement savings, Exxon’s quarterly earnings of almost $15 billion seem incomprehensible.

Let’s try to contextualize that amount so workaday schlubs like ourselves can try to gain some perspective on just how much revenue these giant corporations generate, even in just one quarter.

How much is $15 Billion Dollars?

If put into a pile, it would weigh around 16.5 tons.

If each dollar were laid end to end, it would travel the earth’s circumference 600 times.

If each dollar represented a year, it would exceed the age of the universe by roughly a billion years

If each dollar represented a species on a planet, it would be 1000 times more bio-diverse than Earth

$15 billion is almost 5 times Rwanda’s GDP in 2007

What Could $15 Billion Buy?

It could buy 3,000,000,000 watts of energy produced by industrial solar panels—enough to power approximately 300,000,000 homes for a month

It could compensate 300,000-500,000 public school teachers for a year’s salary

It could provide around half a year’s worth of medication for every HIV patient in the world

It could purchase 750,000,000 electric cars—that’s enough for the entire North American population, even people under 16, with enough left over for Brazil

It could pay the national average monthly mortgage for almost 9 million people

What would you do with $15 billion? Comment below!

Top photo by dsearls (Creative Commons)

Middle photo by Simon Davison (Creative Commons)

Bottom photo by Tracy O (Creative Commons)