Of course, the change I find in old pockets doesn't always add up to US$43 million.
Sometimes it's more like 43 cents, but you can buy a lot of food for 43 cents, if you're not one of those people who are too snobbish to visit the pet food section.
This thought was triggered by a Los Angeles Times report I was sent which said US$43 million of mislaid public money was recently found by an accountant.
I'll wager it was that little key pocket in the right trouser leg, the home of much ancient treasure and foodstuffs.
I mentioned this to a colleague named Vicky who had just mislaid a biggish banknote. As I helped her search in the office, I got thinking about other examples of lost cash.
Remember when H&R Block, the tax accounting firm, lost US$100 million because it couldn't get its tax accounting right?
That's as ludicrous as, say, a law enforcement officer exorting members of the public for bribes. Wait. I work in Asia, where that happens every day.
And remember when JPMorgan Chase announced that its estimated loss was US$4 billion off-target? I'd love to overhear these guys' budget discussions with their wives.
"Hi honey, I only spent about 20 bucks at the bar this evening. No, wait, it might have been four billion and 20."
I asked a financial journalist to find me the biggest accounting error ever.
She said German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble once double-checked his country's accounts and found it had 55.5 billion euros (HK$594 billion) more than recorded.
Wow. Fifty-five bill is a heck of a lot of money to stumble on. I mean, that's enough to buy a tiny, horrible bedsit in Hong Kong.
I wonder if Schaeuble has spent it all, or whether it's worth shooting off a begging letter?
He found the cash in October 2011, and no one can get through 55.5 billion euros in two years.
Except my wife. And my daughter. And my daughter. And all her friends. Okay, never mind.
Vicky, desperately pawing through her handbag once more for the missing note, then said: "I went to the bank yesterday morning and got HK$1,500 out. Now it's all gone."
That's when I knew it wasn't missing at all.
There's no way an Olympic-standard shopper like her could carry HK$1,500 (that's about US$200) for 1 day without spending it.
I made her mentally go through all the places she'd visited in the past 24 hours and we quickly worked out where the cash had gone.
It had followed the laws of physics to its inevitable home in the cash register of a shoe shop.
"OK," she admitted. "I spent it and forgot."
It's just an example of the forces of entropy, really. But I told her that it would sound better if she did what the big boys do. "Call it an accounting error."