Organization with Unlimited Funding
In Real Life
, the world's largest corporations and government agencies often have a total annual cash flow that exceeds the Gross National Product of smaller nations, own fleets of multimillion dollar vehicles or multiple office buildings. But modern Real Life
organizations like Wal-mart or the U.S. Defense Department would be on the bottom
end of this scale at best.
Merely being an unusually successful Mega Corp.
is not enough to qualify for this list, nor is an Elaborate Underground Base
(or more than one), as these assets may have been around for a while, acquired at a discount, or required to accomplish the organizations whole purpose for existance.
These organizations routinely
accomplish feats whose mere existence in the setting could result in Fridge Logic
or even straining Willing Suspension of Disbelief
- Construction projects that normally require hundreds or thousands of workers laboring for months or years are often accomplished before the next episode.
- If the organization is responsible for a major national project, they will often build a spare just in case or for their own use.
- The organization funds projects which apparently break the laws of physics using only wealth and the Rule of Cool or the Rule of Funny.
- If some other convenient fictional trope makes something possible, it doesn't count. You don't buy sound in space when Space Is Noisy. It's not impressive to have Infinite Supplies when everyone else does. Building a Humongous Mecha is not noteworthy when any random scientist can make five in a weekend.
- An example might be, in a setting Twenty Minutes into the Future, while every other spacefaring organization is still working on commercial manned flight to the ISS or missions to the Moon or Mars, this organization is already secretly operating multiple interstellar vessels that could carry the space shuttle in their secondary cargo holds.
It pretty much goes without saying that any investor who owns more than 1% or so of one of these organizations will be a member of the Fiction 500
. If an organization is owned largely by one individual or a relatively small group, please file the example under Impossibly Cool Wealth
, not here.
Compare Fiction 500
, Mega Corp.
, Abusing the Kardashev Scale for Fun and Profit
, Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?
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Anime & Manga
- The Liar Game Tournament Office appears at one point to blow ten quintillion yen on the first round of their tournament. That's 107.54 trillion U.S. dollars.
- In fact, at the start of the story, the invitation read "...You are one of the 1 in 100000 people who have been entered..." which means, if it takes place all over the world, there's about 70 thousand people taking part, and since each of those people gets 100 million yen, the total amount for the first round is only 7 trillion yen, or 80 billion dollars (which to be fair, is still a lot.
- As far as the Liar Game first round goes, they intended to recoup most of the money from the losers (whose debt is relatively low), and quite a lot of the rest of the money would remain in-game as players continued. They get 50% of the winning of dropouts; in effect, worst-case scenario for them, they can only lose 50% of what they put in. Which is "only" 40 billion dollars!
- As the characters point out, it's actually a scam. They give each player 100 million yen, and require that each player pay back that amount at the end. Assuming no player goes bankrupt (which is a ridiculous assumption, but the company supposedly has hand-wavy powers to extract the money somehow), they'll never lose any money — the loser just pays the winner 100 million, and the company neither gains nor loses anything. But then the company also charges 50% of your net winnings if you drop out, which is pure profit for them.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion deconstructs this trope, like many others. NERV (a UN Special Agency)— is able to replace entire cities within days, not to mention the upkeep and maintenance of three giant biomechanical weapons. (Each with a budget equivalent to a small country.) NERV has funding in excess of what a UN agency can normally legally have, and required a special amendment to the funding regulations just to be chartered. Their monetary requirements are absolutely enormous, and they are given all the funding they need, but even so they still run into financing issues because they take up so much of the budget that other programs end up gutted in order to meet their needs. As one member of the SEELE council said, "Man cannot live on Eva alone," and fully funding all their operations can cripple other critical programs.
- Momoka Nishizawa from Keroro Gunsou. Even granted that her family has more than half the money on Earth she spends insane amounts of money, mostly on trying to get closer to her love interest, Fuyuki. This goes to the point that there's actually an episode deticated to her trying to formulate an extremely low budget plan as a change of strategy (really, she'd get a lot further just buying a marriage certificate).
- In the opening act of Dance in the Vampire Bund, the secret vampire nation gets Japan to authorize creating a semi-independent vampire state on a man-made island just off the coast of Tokyo. Mina Tepes gets the ruling party in the Diet to go along with this plan by forking over enough cash to retire Japan's national debt - stated to be roughly ten trillion dollars. And the vampire nation is still obscenely rich after doing so.
- In the Ultimate Marvel universe, Nick Fury's reply to concerns about funding a weapon to fight off Galactus is: "I could have every human being on earth dressed in solid gold underwear. Tomorrow." S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn't appear to be hurting for capital, to put it mildly.
- In All-Star Superman, Project Cadmus director Dr. Leo Quintum explicitly states he has unlimited resources. Not surprising since as a good aligned Mad Scientist his inventions must make millions (if not billions) in this non-Reed Richards Is Useless world.
- In On Her Majesty's Secret Service it's mentioned that Bond girl Tracy's father has ties to the most powerful crime organization on Earth. Bond replies that SPECTRE is larger.
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy features a few, perhaps most notably Magrathea, the planet whose sole industry is building custom-made planets. Yes, artificial planets. It became so wealthy that the rest of the galaxy's economy collapsed, leading the Magratheans to put themselves into suspended animation until people could afford their services again.
- Being post-scarcity means every member of The Culture has unlimited funds to do whatever they want.
- The hundreds (thousands?) of The Dark Hunters get paid every month with a wheelbarrow-sized pile of gold and precious gems by Artemis, who doesn't seem to grasp the idea of direct deposit. Consider that this has been going on for over a thousand years, and you get quite a pump into the local economy (and the world economy at large).
- The Terran Trade Authority, from the book series of that name, which manages the economies of multiple extrasolar systems and has managed the logistics for interstellar wars fought by its sister organization, the Terran Defense Authority. One branch of the TTA, the Central Administration, owns its own city, mainly to store records, which is surrounded by forests to supply the paper necessary to allow paper records to be maintained alongside its electronic files.
- In The Wheel of Time, the Aes Sedai organisation of the White Tower has practically unlimited funds, able to offer each of its members (of which there are about a thousand) an annual stipend that easily puts them on a par with any medium-ranking noble or the most successful merchant, and they can ask for more with very little red tape. The Tower can get away with this because it is both the world's oldest surviving political institution, and earns rent on huge tracts of land, and also happens to be the world's oldest bank.
- Stargate SG-1: Justified, since it is funded through the U.S. Department of Defense budget. It also operates Stargate Command, rents Russia's stargate whenever theirs goes missing, and built a at least 5 starships that allegedly each cost more than the entire GNP of the state of New York, and presumably operate other secret projects as well. But then, keeping two galaxies safe ain't cheap. Later an oversight agency becomes a recurring pain in the protagonists backside as other nations are brought onboard and corporations become involved in adapting found technology to Earth use.
- Torchwood One, of Doctor Who: They built One Canada Square/Canary Wharf/Torchwood Tower (construction costs: approximately £500 million) purely to investigate a weird rift at the top. Even allowing for the rental income, which in that district would have been considerable even by London standards, that's one hell of an up-front expenditure for a supposedly "black" government department.
- The Federation in Star Trek was able to recover from having its fleet annihilated in less than a year. Not just recover: 39 ships were lost at Wolf 359, which was considered to be a huge blow to the fleet. As of the Dominion War several years later, Starfleet consists of hundreds, if not thousands, of combat-capable starships. It's explicitly meant to be a post-scarcity future, but still.
- A late first season episode of Quantum Leap had Al appearing before a congressional committee to justify keeping the Project going at taxpayers' expense. Meanwhile In The Past Sam was helping a young woman pass the law school exam. When he was successful the head of the committee suddenly became the woman he had been helping, who approved the funding. Ever since then, there were no questions as to the budget of the Project.
- The Company from Heroes fits this to varying degrees throughout the show's run, most closely when it was run by Bob Bishop (who had the power to turn anything into gold) during Volume Two, who identifies himself as the Company's "financial source."
- In NUMB3RS, DARPA is mentioned several times as this, specifically using the words "unlimited funding". They end up throwing it at 5-year projects. One character, who tries to scam them with a fake AI, claims no one would suspect a thing, as 95% of DARPA-funded projects are failures.
- And then it turns out that the US government also has a detachment of literal MI Bs to go after people who are scamming them for research funds...
- JAG: Funding, provided by U.S. taxpayers through the defense budget, is never really an issue, and often in court-martials held in Virginia, foreign nationals as witnesses are flown in from across the world. Subverted though in "Father's Day" when Harm, Mac and Bud had to conduct an investigation on a tight budget; due to Harm's tortious interference with the secret business of the Bradenhurst Corporation in a previous episode.
- There is a notable aversion in The Fall. DSU Stella Gibson, a Metropolitan Police detective, is brought into Belfast to assist the PSNI in a 28-day review of a cold case in which the ex-daughter-in-law of an MLA of the Northern Ireland Assembly was murdered, and she eventually links the murder to two other murders. At the end of the first series, the Belfast Strangler has slipped off the radar. By the beginning of the second season, which is only ten days after the first series' finale, the PSNI's funding and resources have been stretched thin and DSU Gibson has to submit a request for a £1.8 million grant to continue the investigation.
Forbes magazine lists 25 of the largest fictional corporations here
- Many, if not all, of the major factions in Warhammer 40,000. As the TV Tropes entry states: "Entire planets with populations of billions are lost due to rounding errors in tax returns."
- You, when playing Rogue Trader. Okay, Rogue Traders don't literally have unlimited funding, but their financial capabilities are still enormous. (They have to be, to afford their obligatory Mile-Long Ship.) Any given member of a Trader's senior crew has roughly a 50-50 chance of buying an incredibly rare piece of war equipment, or alternatively enough of the common stuff to fit out a regiment — each session, starting from the first — without so much as denting their cash flow. If you want to risk your investment souring, by all means, spend more!
- According to Shadowrun lore, by the year 2070 we can expect mega-corporations that literally have more money and military power than most actual countries. The headquarters of said mega-corps tend to span tens of city blocks and legitimately claim that the ground said buildings are upon as soverign territory, and immune to the parent country's governing laws.
- Not that unbelievable, at least the money part. Wal-Mart's annual revenues are more than the GNP of all but about 25-30 countries.
- Averted for the Task Force: Valkyrie, the Men-in-Blackish Conspiracy of HunterTheVigil. They are a national, FBI sized agency, with bleeding edge technology, flat-out said to have the impressively low annual budget of US$ 875.000. How can they fund all those marvelous gadgets? Being secretly funded by ancient vampires, that's how.
- In the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, TAROT, a Nebulous Evil Organization out to control the world's economy, has monetary resources on the same level as a mid-sized nation, and easily outpaces most of the world's smaller nations.
- The apparently unlimited resources of the SCP Foundation have been commented on even by its own writing community. Somewhat justified in that they control paranormal artifacts that actually can produce infinite resources, although often with unpleasant side-effects. The do occasionally complain about needless or excessive expenditures, be it D-Class fodder or actual resources.