Money Lost from Wasteful Meetings Dwarfs any Bailout

Courtesy of

I made the statement this week that the amount of money lost from wasteful meetings dwarfs any bailout that the US has received. But, is that a true statement. I don’t know….but I intend to find out live during this post.

I know that 5/4 people aren’t good at math….but let’s do some math.

An estimate of the number of people currently living in the US is 313,623,655. How many of those people are working? Wow…..Wiki suggests that we only have 131 million people working in this country. Could that be correct? What’s the rest of the folks doing? Ok, let’s use that number.

The per capita income according to the US consensus is $27,334.

131,000,000 multiplied by 27,334 is 3,580,754,000,000. Let’s call it 3.6 trillion. That means, that every working person in the US earns 298,396,000,000 per month. As a wise person once said, a billion here, and a billion there and eventually you are talking about a lot of money.

If you believe that 30% of our time is spent in some form of meeting. Then 1,074,226,200,000 is the annual cost of meetings. A meeting is defined as getting together with 2 or more people with some desired result or outcome. If 10% of every meeting is wasted, then 107,422,620,000 is our figure. If you believe it is 20%, then the figure is around 214,845,240,000. Now let’s look at the amount spent on the bailout.

It turns out TARP, the most famous bailout was 700 billion. So it would take 3-6 years of wasteful meetings to equal a TARP bailout. Guess I exaggerated a little, but I didn’t say over what time period. Good thing we didn’t make a wager (sticking tongue out in defiance).

Wait…..Wait….stop the presses. Stop the printing….. New information has just come in.

It turns out that only $602 billion went out the door, and 306 billion has been returned according to this site. Therefore, 214 billion is the net still outstanding as of May 21, 2012. Therefore, if you believe that 20% of meeting time is wasted, then my figure is correct! Woo Hoo!

What is your opinion?