Economists have their fingers crossed in hopes that Santa delivered the stimulus plan that was at the top of their lists.
"Santa could be carrying up to $44 billion of help for the economy in his sack this year," said Dr. Benjamin Akande, economist and dean of the School of Business and Technology at Webster University in a press release.
Normally, Dr. Akande and the faculty at Webster University work out the statistics of how Santa will make his yearly rounds of the night before Christmas. This year they’ve instead decided to conduct a study on just how Santa’s deliveries may help the global economy.
According to Dr. Acande, every economist should be hoping that the Big Guy decides to bring gift cards to each stocking. "If Santa is carrying gift cards this Christmas he could really help the economy," said Dr. Akande. "Just $10 could mean billions."
The real benefit to the economy would come from the “multiplier effect” of the gift cards. According to the study, if 2.2 billion stockings find themselves stuffed with a $10 gift card, once spent, the money could double when stores use the profits to re-stock their inventories, pay their employees, or make improvements to their stores. In total, Santa’s gift would add $44 billion to the world economy.
"In a better economy, the multiplier could bring us much more," said Dr. Akande. "But this year's financial situation means we won't get as much bang for Santa's buck."
There may have been an obstacle in Santa’s yearly round though, as the world delivery is limited to the few hours on Christmas Eve night. At most, if he were to travel east to west, Santa would have 31 hours to complete his work, with a bit added as he passes through different time zones. In that amount of time, he would have to reach an estimated 1.23 billion households and 2.2 billion children.
Santa would have to make 11,022 visits per second, giving him 1/11,000 of a second to climb down each chimney, deliver his toys, enjoy his milk and cookies, and be on his way to the next house.
How his trip has fared throughout the night will still have to be seen; yet high hopes are held that Santa’s Stimulus Plan was delivered successfully.