Not Google in its current state. That'd be ridiculous. But before it became the owner of planet earth, Google was just a fresh-faced web start-up. One that cost approximately 25 million bucks to get off the ground. So, basically, the seeds of world domination cost about half as much as it does to annoy the loyal readers of the most respected newspaper on the planet.
2. 2,666,666 Monthly Subscriptions
It costs 15 bucks a month for those too lazy to figure out a workaround for this paywall. So if it cost $40 million, it will take 2,666,666 subscriptions for them to break even.
3. 20 Million Ice Cream Cones
One for everybody in the state of New York. That's how you make people happy, New York Times.
4. Lebron James For Three Years
The guy makes 15 million a year to play second fiddle to Dwyane Wade. He's ready for another demotion. Hire him as the office manager whose sole job is to make sure there's paper in the printer. Or hire him just to wave at people in front of your office.
5. The Situation For Eight Years
Ugh. I hate typing this, but the Situation makes eight million bucks a year. Pretty hefty wages being doled out at the gross factory, I guess. But alas, the guy's raking it in. So put him to good use. Put him on staff, force him to write an Ann Landers-esque column giving out advice to aspiring assholes.
6. The Social Network
Well not Facebook, specifically. But they could've hired David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin to make a movie for their website, just like they did for The Social Network, which cost 50 million to make. "If you invented the New York Times pay wall, you would've invented the New York Times pay wall." This thing writes itself.
Okay, there's no monetary value attached the the continent of Antarctica, given that it is an unusable land mass, but you can't tell me that if you announced you'd like to spend 40 million dollars on Antarctica anybody would put up a fight.
8. The Pittsburgh Pirates
Don't know why you'd want 'em. But their payroll is $34 million bucks. Take 'em. Don't take them. Whatever, Pittsburgh won't notice.
9. 4.141 Billion Yen
You don't even have to do anything with it. You can just put it in a room and call it the Yen Room. Or better yet, just donate it to Japan. They need it more than you do. Every paywall you build pretty much means $40 million you didn't give to Japan.
10. 25 Submarines from Hammacher Schlemmer
All of them go to Paul Krugman. All of them.