We often see statements that such and such an issue cost so many millions of money.  The latest case was the US government ‘shutdown’.  I have seen various estimates of the cost to the economy.

Almost certainly all are wrong.

When there is, say, an industrial dispute at a small factory, ‘losses’ are often based on average daily revenues.  However, when the factory is shut down, the organisation saves costs and products may continue to ship from stock.  Any losses are hard to estimate.

Think how much more difficult it is to do this when considering: (a) a complex organisation like the US government; (b) an organisation in the public sector.

Sure, the shutdown cost – but how much we’ll never know.

And, perhaps the greatest cost was to the US’ reputation and the degree of confidence in the US from potential foreign investors and purchasers.