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 CEOs are awash in numbers from morning till night. Most of those numbers come to CEOs filtered and organized with …


CEOs are awash in numbers from morning till night. Most of those numbers come to CEOs filtered and organized with a PowerPoint behind every numeral. But decision-makers also benefit from data disconnected from any agenda. Introducing the Chief Executive INfact, a collection of illuminating facts and figures that underscores the world’s interconnectedness, swift pace and wonder.

1. Number of Americans who filed income tax returns with zero tax liability in 2004 | 42,545,501

2. Percent of Estonians who received a pre-filled income tax return in 2006 | 80

3. Percent of American taxpayers who did | 0

4. Number of hours of preparation time saved if the IRS offered pre-filled tax returns | 225 million

5. Number of new housing starts in U.S., January 2007 | 1,550,000

6. Number 12 months earlier | 2,200,000

7. Amount by which number of IPOs in 2006 exceeded IPOs in 2005 | 15

8. Percentage increase in total IPO proceeds in 2006 relative to 2005 | 28

9. Number of Americans who suffer from chronic sleep disorders | 40 million

10. Annual direct and indirect costs of insomnia | 42 billion

11. Estimated annual number of traffic fatalities caused by drowsy drivers | 1,500

12. Number of one-letter NYSE ticker symbols currently unassigned | 10

13. First one-letter stock ticker symbol issued by the NYSE | T (issued to AT&T in 1885)

14. Most recent one-letter stock ticker symbol issued | M (to Federated Department   Stores, which changed its name to Macy’s Inc. in June 2007)

15. Percentage of meals Americans purchased from restaurants in 2006 ordered “to go” | 63

16. Percentage in 1985 | 33

17. Number of grams and value of gold per person in the world, if distributed evenly | 23 grams per person, about $250 to $350 each

18. Number of nations in which gold is circulated as currency | 0

19. Rank of Google among most desirable employers 2007 undergraduates want to join | 1

20. Rank of Peace Corp | 5

21. Number of the past six years that fine-art prices have outperformed the S&P 500 | 5

22. Price from an Illinois company to turn the cremated ashes of a loved one into a 1.5-carat diamond | $24,999

23. Rank of Nevaeh, (“heaven” spelled backward) among the fastest growing names given to American newborn girls since 2000 | 1

24. Amount Uncle Ben’s spent with TBWA/Chiat/Day to rebrand the character of its fictional bow-tied namesake from servant to CEO | $20,000,000

25. Points by which the average SAT score of a home-schooled student exceeds that of other U.S. students | 81

26. Ratio of the average cost of a gallon of premium gas in New York City to that of a gallon of Starbucks latte coffee | 1:10

27. Rank of Minnesota among states in which the largest percentage of citizens have health insurance | 1

28. Rank of Texas | 50

29. Difference due to “missing gravity” in Canada between the weight of two identical 80 kg people in Miami and Winnipeg | -3 grams

30. Percent of pacemakers in one study that malfunctioned when iPods were held 2 inches from patients’ chests for 5-10 seconds | 1.2

31. Amount by which Hershey Kisses in clear containers are consumed by female office workers over those in opaque containers | Double

32. Rank of the National Security Agency among top U.S. employers of mathematicians | 1

33. Estimated labor cost of complying with the U.S. tax code each year, expressed as a percentage of U.S. tax receipts | 22

34. Amount by which American households spent more than they earned in 2006 | $41.6 billion

35. Year in which the savings rate last dipped into negative territory | 1933

Sources: 1 The Tax Foundation; 2 Internal Revenue Service; 3 The Brookings Institution; 4-6 National Association of Realtors; 7-8 PricewaterhouseCoopers; 9 National Commission on Sleep Disorders; 10-11 National Sleep Foundation; 12-14 David Michayluk, The Rise and Fall of Single-Letter Ticker Symbols; 15-17 NPD Group; 18-19 galmarley.com; 20-21 BusinessWeek; 22 Harper’s; 23 New York Times; 24 Marketing Profs; 25 College Board; 26 Chief Executive research; 27-28 Congressional Budget Office; 29 Canadian Dept. of Natural Resources: Earth Science Sector; 30 University of Michigan; 31 Cornell University; 32 American Mathematical Society; 34 Tax Foundation; 35 Federal Reserve Bank

About John Kador

John Kador
John Kador is a business author based in Lewisburg, PA. His last book is What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know: An Insider Revels How to Get Smart Funding for Your Million Dollar Business (with Brian Cohen, McGraw-Hill).