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  • Bertrand Badré

Economic figures

Today I wanted to reflect on figures. I spent my entire professional life with figures but always has a problem with them and once I shocked my finance team when I said that I was a CFO more interested in people than figures (some might remember ).

Those days figures have become our daily bread. We eat them one after the other. And quite often we loose sight of orders of magnitude, we simply don’t realize what a number means.

How many zeroes for a Trillion dollar? What does the daily release of virus statistics say of individual suffering? How to read that over 2 weeks 10 Million American people have applied to unemployment benefit claims out of 160 Million labour force? How to make sense of the idea that over 3,5 Bn people are locked down and that over 1,5 Bn children can’t attend their classes (out of 10)? Or on a different note to understand what it means that the FBI has to do a record 3,7 million gun background checks last month. Not to forget the Trillions dissipated in the markets or mobilized by government and central banks.

These figures are all meaningful but require a pause to make them palatable. I will try to make the effort to not swallow the figures as they come but focus on what it says about our planet and us. #sustainablefinance

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