Posts filed under “Economy”

History of the Wealth Gap in Europe and America

Last week, we reported the ungodly sums of money the top executives at Pimco made. We also noted the obsession we have with tracking other people’s wealth.

Perhaps I painted with too broad a brush when I described this as an American pastime; to be more accurate, it is a hobby of the moneyed classes in general and on Wall Street in particular. My apologies to the rest of America, onto whom I unfairly projected this unseemly preoccupation.

Still, endeavoring to understand how the current circumstances evolved is a worthwhile undertaking. Wealth, public policy and economic inequality developed along two very different paths in Europe and the U.S. That is where we begin our discussion this morning.

I’m going to overly generalize and exaggerate a bit here to make a point about how society evolved in the U.S. and on the Continent.  Modern Europe had a 1,000-year head start on America. By the time the first European explorers were taking tentative steps on the shores here, Europe had become a well-developed feudal society. If you want to consider extreme levels of income inequality, consider the distribution curve of property ownership in that system.

Typically, the feudal lord or king owned, well, everything. Serfs were allowed to work the land, and most of the bounty went to the crown. They could hunt in the royal fields and forests, providing the appropriate tax was paid. The king provided some sort of justice as well as protection from marauding hordes. In exchange for these royal gifts, one only had to promise undying fealty, a willingness to be conscripted into the military for both needed defense and the occasional foreign involvement, or anything else at His Majesty’s or His Lordship’s discretion. Let’s not even discuss the right of primae noctis.

Continues here

Category: Economy, Wages & Income

China’s Transition: Third Plenum Objectives

Source: China’s Transition: The Third Plenum — One Year On, Bloomberg Brief

Category: Economy, Politics

Apparently, You CAN Buy (Some) Happiness

It looks as if you can buy happiness, after all. At least, in limited amounts, and up to a point. That seems to be the conclusion based on a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, part of the Pew Charitable Trust. Pew notes that Israel, the U.S., Germany and the U.K. have the happiest…Read More

Category: Economy, Psychology, Wages & Income

A Global Boom, but Only for Some

Source: NY Times

Category: Economy, Markets

The One Chart That Explains Democrats’ Loss

The elections are over. The pundits will spend the next few months dissecting the candidates and the campaigns. The Republican Party ran a strong campaign with attractive candidates, while the Democrats did neither. Voter turnout was low, which often gives an advantage to Republicans. Then there is the economy. The Democrats seem to have forgotten…Read More

Category: Economy, Politics

October Car Sales

Source: NY Times

Category: Consumer Spending, Digital Media, Economy

Economic Indicators Dashboard

Source: Russell Investments

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Markets

CFR: A Conversation With Alan Greenspan

Alan Greenspan discusses current trends in the global economy and his solutions for addressing the financial crisis.

The C. Peter McColough Series on International Economics is presented by the Corporate Program and the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies.

Category: Economy, Federal Reserve, Really, really bad calls, Video

Economics Advances One Funeral at a Time . . .

Quantitative easing over. It is a good occasion to consider what we know about central bank intervention, when it is appropriate and when it isn’t. We have a century of broad and deep central bank history and data upon which to make our assessment. Yet we seem to ignore much of what has been learned…Read More

Category: Economy, Politics, Really, really bad calls, Taxes and Policy

US Metropolitan Economies Compared to Equivalent Nations

click for larger graphic Source: McKinsey h/t Know More     About 1.5 billion people, or 22 percent of the world’s population, lives in 600 cities. They account for an outsized portion of global wealth. According to a new report by McKinsey & Co.: Half of global GDP in 2007 came from 380 cities in…Read More

Category: Data Analysis, Economy