Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For March 30, 2014

Amount of money in bonuses handed out by Wall Street banks in 2013, according to an Institute for Policy Studies analysis of New York state comptroller bonus figures: $26.7 billion

Number of full-time U.S. minimum wage workers for whom that money would more than double their pay: 1.085 million

If the $26.7 billion had gone into the pockets of minimum wage workers, amount by which the U.S. GDP would be expected to grow, more than triple the $10.4 billion boost expected from the Wall Street bonuses: $32.3 billion

Source: Institute for Policy Studies.

In 2012, amount of money contributed to the economy by manufacturers, up from $1.73 trillion in 2011 and comprising 11.9 percent of GDP, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Industry Economic Accounts: $1.87 trillion

In 2012, annual salary earned by the average manufacturing worker in the United States, including pay and benefits, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (2012): $77,505

Annual salary earned by the average worker in all industries: $62,063

Source: National Association of Manufacturers.

Year that a deadly influenza, one of the most devastating public health crises in history, hit the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 1918

With first cases being reported in March of that year, number of Americans who perished in the month of October, the deadliest month in the nation's history: 195,000

By 1920, estimated number of Americans who had died from this strain of the flu: 575,000

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of American adults who believe in sacrificing for the future, according to a survey conducted for TheStreet: 85

Despite this, percentage who are still worried about having enough money saved for retirement: 53

Percentage of respondents who are not satisfied with what they're currently putting aside for retirement: 38

Source: TheStreet Inc.

Amount of money lost by Russia's 10 richest individuals (4.7 percent of their combined net worth), according to a Wealth-X estimate, after the country's benchmark Micex index plunged nearly 11 percent due to escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine: $6.6 billion

Amount lost by Alisher Usmanov -- the country's wealthiest man with interests in mining, telecommunications, media and sports, including a more than 30 percent stake in Arsenal Football Club: $1.7 billion

Source: Wealth-X.

Percentage of people who say that being in debt makes them unhappy, according to a CreditDonkey.com survey: 82

Percentage who say that having a good financial cushion makes them happy: 74

If money were no object, percentage of respondents who said they would still prefer to work full time: 14

Source: CreditDonkey.com.

Ranks of London, Paris and Toronto on the list of Americans' most frequented international destinations, as identified by the Hotel Price Index: 1, 2, 3

Ranks of New York, Las Vegas, Orlando, Fla., Miami and Los Angeles on the list of destinations for overseas visitors: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: Hotel Price Index.

Percentage of uninsured Americans who plan to remain uninsured despite the Affordable Care Act's requirement that they obtain health insurance or pay a fine, according to a Bankrate.com report: 33

Of respondents who plan to stay uninsured, percentage who say their reason for doing so is that health insurance is too expensive: 41

Percentage of all uninsured Americans who do not know about the subsidies that reduce the cost of health insurance: 70

Source: Bankrate.com.

Percentage of moms who believe children should be separated from peers in school based on a special-needs diagnosis (opinions were similar regardless of whether a parent had a child with special needs), according to a study released by Parents magazine: 15

Percentage of mothers of kids with special needs who say that their school meets their child's needs: 76

Percentage of moms of typically developing kids who wonder whether their child needs to be evaluated for a potential developmental disorder: 25

Source: Parents.

Percentage of U.S. retail banking executives who consider non-traditional competitors a threat, significantly higher than global counterparts overall (55 percent), according to a report from PwC: 71

Percentage of respondents from 17 countries who agree that it is important to consider how global trends (e.g., economic growth, regulation, demographic and technological changes) will impact the banking industry in 2020: 70

Percentage of U.S. executives who are less likely to believe that it is critical to form a view of the industry in 2020 as compared to executives in Asia-Pacific (71 percent), Europe (67 percent) and emerging markets (79 percent): 61

Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Idle Thought

"The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think." -- Aristotle

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)bwr.eastlink.ca.)