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Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism by Wolfgang Streeck
activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, banking crisis, basic income, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, David Graeber, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial repression, fixed income, full employment, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, means of production, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Occupy movement, open borders, open economy, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, profit maximization, risk tolerance, shareholder value, too big to fail, union organizing, winner-take-all economy, Wolfgang Streeck
Shefrin, Beyond Greed and Fear: Understanding Behavioral Finance and the Psychology of Investing, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002). 12 The Citibank research department developed this as a positive concept, to dispel fears among the select customers of the bank’s private banking department that their future prosperity would depend, as in the Keynesian world, on the material welfare of the broad masses (Citigroup Research, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, 16 October 2005; Citigroup Research, Revisiting Plutonomy: The Rich Getting Richer, 5 March 2006). 13 Against the advice of any number of people who claimed to know better, Germany had defended its industrial base and moved only slowly, in the 1980s and 1990s, in the direction of an American or British-style ‘service society’. After 2008 it was therefore able to continue exporting goods such as luxury cars and machinery that no one else could offer at the same quality level, profiting from the high growth-rates in China and the ever more unequal distribution of income in the crisis-torn United States.
Bundesministerium des Innern, Jahresbericht der Bundesregierung zum Stand der Deutschen Einheit 2012, Berlin: Bundesministerium des Innern, 2012. Canedo, Eduardo, The Rise of the Deregulation Movement in Modern America, 1957–1980, New York: Columbia University Press, 2008. Castles, Francis G. et al., ‘Introduction’, in Francis G. Castles et al. (eds), The Oxford Handbook of the Welfare State, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, pp. 1–15. Citigroup Research, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, 16 October 2005. ———. Revisiting Plutonomy: The Rich Getting Richer, 5 March 2006. Citrin, Jack, ‘Do People Want Something for Nothing? Public Opinion on Taxes and Government Spending’, National Tax Journal, vol. 32/2, 1979, supplement, pp. 113–29. ———. ‘Proposition 13 and the Transformation of California Government’, The California Journal of Politics and Policy, vol. 1/1, 2009, pp. 1–9.
Occupy by Noam Chomsky
corporate governance, corporate personhood, deindustrialization, Howard Zinn, income inequality, invisible hand, Martin Wolf, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, precariat, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, too big to fail, union organizing
Take, for example, Citigroup. For decades, Citigroup has been one of the most corrupt of the major investment banking corporations, repeatedly bailed out by the taxpayer, starting in the early Reagan years and now once again. I won’t run through the corruption—you probably already know about it—but it’s pretty astonishing. In 2005, Citigroup came out with a brochure for investors called “Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances.” The brochure urged investors to put money into a “plutonomy index.” The memo says “the World is dividing into two blocs - the Plutonomy and the rest.” Plutonomy refers to the rich, those who buy luxury goods and so on, and that’s where the action is. They said that their plutonomy index was way out-performing the stock market, so people should put money into it. As for the rest, we send ’em adrift.
Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else by Chrystia Freeland
activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, assortative mating, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, call centre, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, double helix, energy security, estate planning, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Gini coefficient, global village, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, high net worth, income inequality, invention of the steam engine, job automation, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, liberation theology, light touch regulation, linear programming, London Whale, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, NetJets, new economy, Occupy movement, open economy, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, postindustrial economy, Potemkin village, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, Solar eclipse in 1919, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Steve Jobs, the new new thing, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, Washington Consensus, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game
In 2005, Bill Gates was worth Robert Reich, Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life (Knopf, 2007), p. 113. A 2011 OECD report showed “Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising,” OECD report, December 2011. “I’ve never understood in my life” CF interview with Naguib Sawiris, November 18, 2011. “the World is dividing into two blocs” Ajay Kapur, Niall Macleod, and Narendra Singh, “Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances,” Citigroup Global Markets Equity Strategy report, October 16, 2005. “The U.S. stock markets and the U.S. economy” James Freeman, “The Bullish Case for the U.S. Economy,” Wall Street Journal, June 4, 2011. “very distorted” Alan Greenspan, interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, August 1, 2010. “consumer hourglass theory” Ellen Byron, “As Middle Class Shrinks, P&G Aims High and Low,” Wall Street Journal, September 12, 2011.
“These failed firms” Clayton Christensen, The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Harvard Business School Press, 1997), p. xv. “vast, silent, connected” W. Brian Arthur, “The Second Economy,” McKinsey Quarterly, October 2011. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Zuckerberg attended Ardsley High School for two years before transferring to Phillips Exeter Academy. “Dopamine, a pleasure-inducing” Ajay Kapur, Niall Macleod, and Narendra Singh, “Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances,” Citigroup Global Markets Equity Strategy report, October 16, 2005. “I recognize that sometimes survival requires a positive effort” CF interviews with George Soros, May 2009 and December 2008. “My theory of bubbles was a translation” CF interview with George Soros, May 2009. “That experience has allowed him to see through artifice” CF interview with Jonathan Soros, July 14, 2009.
The New Elite: Inside the Minds of the Truly Wealthy by Dr. Jim Taylor
British Empire, call centre, dark matter, Donald Trump, estate planning, full employment, glass ceiling, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, Louis Pasteur, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, means of production, passive income, performance metric, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Ronald Reagan, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, zero-sum game
In both cases, it is largely about being guided by authenticity, relevance, and storytelling. In both economies, effective marketing is about meeting people’s unmet needs and developing communications that resonate with their attitudes. As we’ve seen, the attitudes of the wealthy are more likely those of mainstream Americans than one might have anticipated. Notes 1. Ajay Kapur, Niall Macleod, and Narendra Singh, ‘‘Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances,’’ research report, Citigroup Global Markets, http://www.billcara.com/archives/ Citi%20Oct%2016,%202005%20Plutonomy.pdf (accessed April 14, 2008). 2. Daniel Gross, ‘‘Don’t Hate Them Because They’re Rich: The Trickle-Down Effect of Ridiculous, Ostentatious Wealth,’’ New York magazine, April 11, 2005, http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/ culture/features/11721 (accessed April 14, 2008). 3.
The Cost of Inequality: Why Economic Equality Is Essential for Recovery by Stewart Lansley
banking crisis, Basel III, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business process, call centre, capital controls, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Edward Glaeser, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Meriwether, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market bubble, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, Myron Scholes, new economy, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, The Great Moderation, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working-age population
, The Economist, 29 August, 2010. 245 Glaeser, op. cit. 246 Atkinson and Morelli, op. cit. p 57. 247 JP Fitoussi and F Saraceno, op. cit. 248 M Iacoviello, ‘Household Debt and Income Inequality, 1963-2003’, Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, August, 2008. 249 Kumhof and Rancière, op. cit. p 3. 250 T Cowen, ‘The Inequality That Matters’, The American Interest Online, Jan-Feb, 2011. 251 Moss, Harvard Magazine, op. cit. 252 Ajay Kapur et al, ‘The Global Investigator: Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances’, Citigroup Equity Research, October 14, 2005. 253 RN Goodwin, ‘The Selling of Government’, Los Angeles Times, 30 January 1997. 254 J Stiglitz, The Roaring Nineties, Allen Lane, 2003. 255 K Phillips, ‘Too much wealth, too little democracy.’ Challenge, September, 2002. 256 Guardian, 19.11.03. 257 Time, 26 February, 2011. 258 H Williams, Britain’s Power Elites, Constable, 2006, p 164. 259 N Matthiason & Y Bessaoud, Growth in City Donations to the Conservative Party, Bureau for Investigative Journalism, February 2011. 260 CRESC, 2009, op. cit. p 23. 261 G Soros, ‘The Crisis and What to do About It’, New York Review of Books, 4 December, 2008. 7 LIVING ON BORROWED TIME One evening in late 2004, a couple who had been living in a small council house in Bradford for ten years got an unexpected knock on the door from a mortgage salesman.
Who Rules the World? by Noam Chomsky
Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, corporate governance, corporate personhood, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, liberation theology, Malacca Straits, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, one-state solution, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, Stanislav Petrov, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, union organizing, uranium enrichment, wage slave, WikiLeaks, working-age population
Thomas Ferguson, “Best Buy Targets are Stopping a Debt Deal,” Financial Times (London), 26 July 2011. 26. Robert Pear, “New Jockeying in Congress for Next Phase in Budget Fight,” New York Times, 3 August 2011. 27. Stephanie Clifford, “Even Marked Up, Luxury Goods Fly Off Shelves,” New York Times, 3 August 2011. 28. Louis Uchitelle, “Job Insecurity of Workers Is a Big Factor in Fed Policy,” New York Times, 27 February 1997. 29. Ajay Kapur, “Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances,” 16 October 2005, as found at http://delong.typepad.com/plutonomy-1.pdf. 30. Noam Chomsky, Making the Future: Occupations, Interventions, Empire and Resistance (San Francisco: City Lights, 2012), 289. 6. IS AMERICA OVER? 1. Elizabeth Becker, “Kissinger Tapes Describe Crises, War and Stark Photos of Abuse,” New York Times, 27 May 2004. 2. John F. Kennedy, “The President and the Press,” (address before the American Newspaper Publishers Society, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York, NY, 27 April 1961) http://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Research-Aids/JFK-Speeches/American-Newspaper-Publishers-Association_19610427.aspx. 3.
How Will Capitalism End? by Wolfgang Streeck
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Graeber, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, en.wikipedia.org, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial deregulation, financial innovation, first-past-the-post, fixed income, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, market bubble, means of production, moral hazard, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, open borders, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, post-industrial society, private sector deleveraging, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, savings glut, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, sovereign wealth fund, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Uber for X, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, winner-take-all economy, Wolfgang Streeck
Demand from below would make it attractive for the ‘savings’ of the rich to be invested in services and manufacturing. See, in this context, the call late last year by the director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, which represents manufacturing firms, for members to pay their workers better, as too many people are stuck in low-pay employment. See ‘Companies urged to spread benefits widely’, Financial Times, 30 December 2013. 38Citigroup Research, ‘Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances’, 16 October 2005; Citigroup Research, ‘Revisiting Plutonomy: The Rich Getting Richer’, 5 March 2006. 39Nota bene that capitalism is about profit, not about productivity. While the two may sometimes go together, they are likely to part company when economic growth begins to require a disproportionate expansion of the public domain, as envisaged early on in ‘Wagner’s law’: Adolph Wagner, Grundlegung der politischen Oekonomie, 3rd edn, Leipzig: C.
Hopes and Prospects by Noam Chomsky
Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, colonial rule, corporate personhood, Credit Default Swap, cuban missile crisis, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Firefox, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, invisible hand, liberation theology, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, new economy, nuremberg principles, one-state solution, open borders, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus
See Baker, Plunder and Blunder, for succinct review. Concentration, Kansas City Federal Reserve president Thomas Hoenig, August 6, 2009, cited by Zach Carter, “A Master of Disaster,” Nation, January 4, 2010, http://www.thenation.com/doc/20100104/carter. 25. Pete Engardio, “Can the Future Be Built in America?” Business Week, September 21, 2009. 26. Citigroup, “Equity Strategy, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances,” October 16, 2005; “Equity Strategy, Revisiting Plutonomy: The Rich Getting Richer,” March 5, 2006. “Why Service Stinks,” Business Week, October 23, 2000. 27. Wall Street Journal, June 15, 2009. 28. Thomas Catan and David Gauthier-Villars, Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2009. 29. For discussion and illustrations of the state-corporate policies that have systematically undermined the country’s industrial base and technological edge, favoring global investors over U.S. manufacturers, see the special report, “Why Nothing Is Made in the USA Anymore,” American Prospect, January 2010. 30.
Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order by Parag Khanna
Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, energy security, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, flex fuel, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Islamic Golden Age, Khyber Pass, knowledge economy, land reform, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Monroe Doctrine, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, open economy, Parag Khanna, Pax Mongolica, Pearl River Delta, pirate software, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Potemkin village, price stability, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, special economic zone, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Thomas L Friedman, trade route, trickle-down economics, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce
Cohen, “The Geopolitics of Currencies and the Future of the International System,” University of California, Santa Barbara, Global and International Studies Program, Paper no. 10, 2003. For background on the relationship between money and territory, see Cohen, The Geography of Money (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press), 18. 19. Joseph Stiglitz, “The Roaring Nineties,” Atlantic Monthly, October 2002. 20. Erik Erikson, Childhood and Society. 21. Ajay Kapur, Niall Macleod, and Narendra Singh, “Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances,” Citigroup Industry Note, October 16, 2005. 22. See Robert B. Reich, The Future of Success (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2001). The minimum wage in 2006 in real terms is 37 percent below what it was in 1968. 23. The United States has spent less than 2 percent of GDP on infrastructure since 1980. 24. Steven A. Camarota, “Immigration from Mexico: Assessing the Impact on the United States,” Center for Immigration Studies, 2001. 25.
Who Stole the American Dream? by Hedrick Smith
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbus A320, airline deregulation, anti-communist, asset allocation, banking crisis, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, business process, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, family office, full employment, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, guest worker program, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, income inequality, index fund, industrial cluster, informal economy, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, mega-rich, mortgage debt, negative equity, new economy, Occupy movement, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Ponzi scheme, Powell Memorandum, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Renaissance Technologies, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Vanguard fund, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, Y2K
Stiglitz, “Inequality: Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%,” Vanity Fair, May 2011. 2 “The fact is” Michael Abramowitz and Lori Montgomery, “Bush Addresses Income Inequality,” The Washington Post, February 1, 2007. 3 “By 2004, the richest 1 percent” Robert Frank, Richistan: A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich (New York: Crown Publishing Group, 2007), 3. 4 “It is absolutely excessive” Matthew Symonds, “Absolutely Excessive,” Vanity Fair, October 2005. 5 WELCOME TO THE PLUTONOMY MACHINE Citigroup, “Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances,” October 16, 2005. 6 “The rich now dominate” Citigroup, “Revisiting Plutonomy: The Rich Getting Richer,” March 6, 2006, http://www.ifg.org. 7 A wealthy American plutocracy Paul Krugman, “Graduates Versus Oligarchs,” The New York Times, February 27, 2006; Stiglitz, “Inequality.” 8 “The top 1% alone control” David Hirschman, “The New Wave of Affluence,” Advertising Age, May 23, 2011; David Hirschman, “On the Road to Riches,” May 22, 2011, Ad Age blogs, http://adage.com. 9 Luxury goods were selling Stephanie Clifford, “Even Marked Up, Luxury Goods Fly off Shelves,” The New York Times, August 4, 2011. 10 Most people estimated Benjamin I.