More on the difference between millions and billions

I wrote earlier on the ease with which people confuse millions and billions, even though one is 1,000 times larger than the other. The million/billion problem struck again today: a trader accidentally sold $15 billion worth of Procter & Gamble shares, even though he meant to sell only $15 million. Procter & Gamble soon recovered but the market didn't; it lost 10% of its value. As I said before, if we start referring to billions as "thousand millions" we'd have much smarter thinking about the issue. And "T" is pretty far away from "M" on a keyboard so people wouldn't make this kind of mistake.

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