I don’t really understand what the $700 billion being discussed as a bailout for the mortgage/credit mess means, but here’s a nice benchmark for purpose of comparison:
At the start of Monday’s meeting, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the world’s rich nations to spend $72 billion a year to help Africa achieve U.N. goals to fight poverty, improve health and ensure universal primary education.
the UN: doing more good with 1/10 of what the US needs to save its skin.
But I kid. The UN isn’t going to get even that money. They’ll still do something impressive with it, though.
As an extension to this, the UN, as an organisation, operates on about $4 billion biennially, slightly higher than the biennial budget of South Dakota ($3.5 billion).