While the phrase "zombie economy" evokes the all-too real threat of severally weakened financial institutions unable to service the public's needs, it actually has a much more literal -- and more lucrative -- meaning.

Through interviews with zombie insiders and their own calculations, the folks at 24/7 Wall Street have concluded that the pop cultural explosion in all things undead over the last few years has suddenly created a "zombie economy" worth $5.74 billion.

Could we be "lurching" towards a way to fix the economic crisis? 

To get to this figure, 24/7 Wall Street added up the gross of all films that featured zombies and come up with $2.5 billion. Add another $3.5 billion for zombie-themed video games, TV, books, comics, costumes, music, art and merchandising, and you've got  nearly$6 billion indications that we are collectively obsessed with dimwitted brain-munchers.

Clearly the answer is to just create zombie versions of failing industries. Zombie cars powered on brains. Zombie newspapers featuring stories about whether to use a shotgun or a shovel to take down the undead. Book stores and video chains that carry nothing but 'World War Z' and George Romero movies.

So let's get cracking and make an all zombies, all the time culture happen. It's the only way to save the economy until the actual zombie apocalypse forces us all to retreat underground.

[via MSNBC]