News this week that global banks have long been laundering trillions of dirty dollars provides new perspective on the word "economy", and whether there is any.
The US Department of Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) recently released documents that identified over $2 trillion in dodgy transactions between 1999 and 2017.
A global consortium of investigative journalists examined those documents and concluded it looked bad and could be worse.
The FinCEN files, they said, represent less than 0.02% of more than 12 million Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) filed by financial institutions between 2011 and 2017.
Banks, governments and rogue moguls have been at pains to point out that SARs aren't evidence of criminal activity, as such.
They're regarded more nit-picky narkiness from financial compliance types who can't resist filing a memo or 12 million.
Most of us generally accept we're getting ripped off by the man, but gees, $2.7 trillion is giving it a fair nudge. I tried some dodgy math to get my head round it.
Two trillion represents 0.02 per cent of total alleged rorting, leaving presumably 99.98 per cent of dirty laundry still in the spin needing to be multiplied by two trillion to get to the final wash-up.
OMG! That's a big number, and it's being done on us. We're being hung out to dry in the laundromat of illicit liquidity and it sounds like an emergency, but you wouldn't ring 000 because clearly, that's way not enough zeros.
Well-known and respected banks (by money-launderers, i'm guessing) like JPMorgan ($514 billion) and Deutsche Bank ($1.3 trillion) earned quite a mention.
The little Aussie battler banks figured, too, but could do better given their relatively unambitious contributions to the trillion dollar tally.
All banks, big or small, agree on one thing though - they are legally bound not to talk about illegal stuff unless legally compelled, and are working hard to improve systems, so no one notices next time.
I guess that's two things they agree on, so let's put it another way. No bank would ever knowingly process a tainted transaction unknowingly, as one Aussie bank admitted to the Federal Court in May this year to doing - twenty three million times.
It makes you wonder about that perspective on economy. It appears international money launderers are not so much diverting money away from the economy - they ARE the economy. Just a different economy to the one we participate in.
In a week's time Federal treasurer Josh Frydenburg will deliver an eye-watering $200 billion deficit to the Australian economy. This time last year the budget was back in black, now it's got the jack.
It might sound like hell's bells but by international money-laundering standards it's really small change - perhaps simply a case of dirty deeds done dirt cheaper.