mega-rich

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Affluenza: When Too Much Is Never Enough by Clive Hamilton, Richard Denniss

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call centre, delayed gratification, experimental subject, full employment, impulse control, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, mega-rich, Naomi Klein, Own Your Own Home, Post-materialism, post-materialism, purchasing power parity, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, wage slave

, it states, ‘There was a time when luxury was a different thing, stuffy, old and unaffordable. That time has gone . . .’8 This suggests a new distinction between the specialised luxury consumption that is confined to the mega-rich and the forms of luxury consumption characteristic of the bulk of the population. Of course, the luxury spending of the mega-rich sets a benchmark for the general populace, a benchmark that must, by its nature, keep rising in order to remain out of reach of all but the few. This requires continued creativity on the part of the mega-rich and on the part of those who supply them. The boom in sales of luxury cars—sales have more than doubled since 19939—is depriving the mega-rich of their exclusivity. In response, the prestige car makers are now offering vehicles made to order and costing up to $1 million, thereby excluding the ordinary rich and the middle class.


pages: 261 words: 81,802

The Trouble With Billionaires by Linda McQuaig

battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, Build a better mousetrap, carried interest, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, employer provided health coverage, financial deregulation, fixed income, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, laissez-faire capitalism, land tenure, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Vanguard fund, very high income, wealth creators, women in the workforce

Indeed, one of the central tenets of ‘globalization’ is that citizenship is no longer relevant to those who control pools of capital. Why, then, the big fuss about where billionaires call home? It may seem that the very wealthy, even if they aren’t obliged to invest where they live, are at least obliged to pay taxes where they live. But there isn’t even much truth in this, given that so much of the wealth of the mega-rich is stashed in offshore tax havens, beyond the reach of national tax authorities. According to compilations by the Tax Justice Network, the global rich have hidden some £13 trillion in tax havens – as much as the combined GDPs ‌of the US and Japan.7 This raises the question of whether Britain’s extensive effort to woo the rich to British soil even makes sense economically. Britain actually acts as a tax haven for rich foreigners, offering them significant tax advantages as ‘non-domiciled’ residents.

Indeed, the concentration of income and wealth, and in particular the wide gap between rich and poor, shapes every aspect of society. Vast numbers of citizens are effectively denied entry to the main activities of our society because they lack money, the basic ticket of admission. Furthermore, it is our contention that there is no moral legitimacy to the claim of the rich to such a large share of the nation’s resources. Perhaps stung by charges of moral illegitimacy coming from protest groups including UK Uncut, the mega-rich have strained to come up with fresh justifications for their oversized portion. One line of argument that has gained currency, at least among the rich, is the notion that today’s vast fortunes were earned in a ‘meritocracy’. The argument emphasizes the notion that inherited wealth plays a smaller role today than in the past. In particular, the rise of ‘self-made’ billionaires and the emergence of a wealthy class of corporate and financial professionals has led some observers to conclude that today’s rich are deserving of their huge rewards, that income is now meted out in a ruthlessly competitive global economy where the best and the brightest rise to the top because of their own worth and contribution.

The goal is more basic: to determine a morally valid basis for the distribution of income, rather than accepting on faith the moral validity of the way income is distributed by the set of man-made laws that make up the current version of the ‘market’. • • • We maintain that billionaires do not deserve their massive fortunes, that members of the ultra-wealthy elite are not morally entitled to keep the large share of their gains permissible under today’s tax laws. In taking this position, we are not denying the enormous contribution made by some of the mega-rich, including innovators such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. These men have truly changed the way people live today – a fact that perhaps puts them in a category quite different to, say, the stars of the handbag industry or the world of cable TV sports. Bill Gates may be the hardest case to contest, given that he is credited with nothing less than making the computer revolution accessible to hundreds of millions of people and donating billions of dollars to worthwhile causes.


pages: 251 words: 80,243

Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia by Peter Pomerantsev

Bretton Woods, corporate governance, corporate raider, Julian Assange, mega-rich, new economy, Occupy movement, Silicon Valley, WikiLeaks

Only in Moscow did they make sense, a city living in fast-forward, changing so fast it breaks all sense of reality, where boys become billionaires in the blink of an eye. “Performance” was the city’s buzzword, a world where gangsters become artists, gold diggers quote Pushkin, Hells Angels hallucinate themselves as saints. Russia had seen so many worlds flick through in such blistering progression—from communism to perestroika to shock therapy to penury to oligarchy to mafia state to mega-rich—that its new heroes were left with the sense that life is just one glittering masquerade, where every role and any position or belief is mutable. “I want to try on every persona the world has ever known,” Vladik Mamyshev-Monroe would tell me. He was a performance artist and the city’s mascot, the inevitable guest at parties attended by the inevitable tycoons and supermodels, arriving dressed as Gorbachev, a fakir, Tutankhamen, the Russian President.

Thousands of platinum-blonde manes brush against bare, perma-tanned backs moist with snow. The winter air is rent with cries from thousands of puffed up lips, begging to be let in. This is not about fashion, about cool; this is about work. Tonight is the one chance for the girls to dance and glance their way over the usually impossible barriers of money, private armies, security fences. For one evening a week the most divided city in the northern hemisphere, where the mega-rich live fenced off in a separate, silky civilization, opens a little, narrow sluice into paradise. And the girls pile and push and crawl into that little sluice, knowing full well that it will be open for one night only before it shuts them back out in a mean Moscow. Oliona walks lightly to the front of the line. She’s on the VIP list. At the beginning of every year she pays the bouncer several thousand dollars to make sure she can always be let in, a necessary tax for her profession.

And again that gaze: the taiga, Baikal, snowy wastes. Then came the ad that took Ruslana and transformed her life. Nina Ricci. The magical tree. The pink apple . . . and stardom. The ad catapulted Ruslana into the jet set. Jerry Epstein, the head of Bear Sterns, famous for his love of teenage girls (he was later jailed for statutory rape), flew her down to his private Caribbean island. The new Russian mega-rich were especially keen to be seen with the new Russian supermodel. She spent more and more time in Moscow, found herself in the VIP lounge of all the clubs. The dream life of all the gold diggers and wannabes: she was living it. It was Moscow she fell in love with, felt most at home in. Her rise chimed together with the city’s. She met Alexander at a club (though no one can remember whether in New York or in Moscow).


pages: 403 words: 105,431

The death and life of the great American school system: how testing and choice are undermining education by Diane Ravitch

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David Brooks, desegregation, hiring and firing, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, mega-rich, Menlo Park, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, school choice, school vouchers, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

I reviewed short-term compensatory education programs—that is, short-term interventions to help kids who were far behind—and concluded that “only sustained quality education makes a difference.” My second article, titled “Foundations: Playing God in the Ghetto” (1969), discussed the Ford Foundation’s role in the protracted controversy over decentralization and community control that led to months of turmoil in the public schools of New York City.4 This question—the extent to which it is appropriate for a mega-rich foundation to take charge of reforming public schools, even though it is accountable to no one and elected by no one—will be treated in this book. The issue is especially important today, because some of the nation’s largest foundations are promoting school reforms based on principles drawn from the corporate sector, without considering whether they are appropriate for educational institutions.

We must take care that our teachers are well educated, not just well trained. We must be sure that schools have the authority to maintain both standards of learning and standards of behavior. In this book, I will describe the evidence that changed my views about reforms that once seemed promising. I will explain why I have concluded that most of the reform strategies that school districts, state officials, the Congress, and federal officials are pursuing, that mega-rich foundations are supporting, and that editorial boards are applauding are mistaken. I will attempt to explain how these mistaken policies are corrupting educational values. I will describe the policies that I believe are necessary ingredients in a good system of public education. I will not claim that my ideas will solve all our problems all at once and forever. I will not offer a silver bullet or a magic feather.

Hess of the American Enterprise Institute has written that the major foundations—especially Gates, Broad, and Walton—are the beneficiaries of remarkably “gentle treatment” by the press, which suspends its skeptical faculties in covering their grants to school reform. “One has to search hard to find even obliquely critical accounts” in the national media of the major foundations’ activities related to education, Hess reports. Furthermore, he writes, education policy experts steer clear of criticizing the mega-rich foundations; to date, not a single book has been published that has questioned their education strategies. Academics carefully avoid expressing any views that might alienate the big foundations, to avoid jeopardizing future contributions to their projects, their university, or the district they hope to work with. Hess observes that “academics, activists, and the policy community live in a world where philanthropists are royalty.”


pages: 181 words: 50,196

The Rich and the Rest of Us by Tavis Smiley

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Buckminster Fuller, Corrections Corporation of America, Credit Default Swap, death of newspapers, deindustrialization, ending welfare as we know it, F. W. de Klerk, fixed income, full employment, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, income inequality, job automation, liberation theology, Mahatma Gandhi, mass incarceration, mega-rich, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, traffic fines, trickle-down economics, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, white flight, women in the workforce, working poor

Children as young as five or six toiled in mills, factories, and mines, earning a fraction of the measly wages adults were paid at the time.63 Inspired by the notion of Republicanism, advocates for the poor drew sharp public focus to the divide between America’s rich and very poor. In his critique of upper-class opulence, Mark Twain coined the phrase “Gilded Age” to define such affluence in the late 19th century.64 Critics wrote commentaries, gave speeches, and convened public meetings that challenged and mocked the massively rich capitalists. The Carnegies, Rockefellers, and other mega-rich industrialists and financiers were caricatured as “robber barons”—pompous, mustachioed men in black top hats, coats, and tails. In fact, Rich Uncle Pennybags, the mascot for the popular board game Monopoly, is based on the robber baron caricature. By 1886, stronger and more organized labor unions such as the Knights of Labor—rooted in common working-class values—demanded higher wages, shorter hours, safer working conditions, and bargaining rights for the working man.

In 2009, when almost 3 million people lost their private health insurance, America’s health insurance companies increased profits by 56 percent. According to a Health Care for America Now (HCAN) report, the nation’s five largest for-profit insurers closed 2009 with a combined profit of $12.2 billion.98 Meanwhile, as more and more Americans are figuring out how to feed families on $150 a month, the mega-rich have gone back to spending on luxury items. USA TODAY declared in early 2011 that wealthy Americans have apparently decided it’s “okay to splurge again.”99 The market is zinging again with purchases like $80,000 battery-powered bicycles; $525,000 timepieces; $630,000 sports cars; $1 million yachts; and vacation homes in posh locales such as Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Hilton Head, South Carolina.


pages: 349 words: 114,038

Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens

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4chan, airport security, anti-communist, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, business climate, business intelligence, business process, Chelsea Manning, clean water, commoditize, congestion charging, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, Debian, Edward Snowden, failed state, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, German hyperinflation, global village, GnuPG, Google Chrome, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, informal economy, intangible asset, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, mass immigration, mass incarceration, mega-rich, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, national security letter, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, packet switching, patent troll, peak oil, pre–internet, private military company, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, selection bias, Skype, slashdot, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, transaction costs, union organizing, wealth creators, web application, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day, Zipf's Law

If you ask the average American citizen, "Why aren't you in the streets protesting the unfairness, the spying, the corruption," they probably won't reply, "I'm afraid of being arrested," and will instead say something like, "I don't really see that it's necessary." I don't think that this is the result of complacency. Rather, I think most people have accurately and subconsciously assessed that old money is like salt. It's still essential, of course. Without salt, you die. Yet only fools fight over salt, and only madmen accumulate cellars of the stuff on the off chance that its price will one day go up again. The trillions hoarded by the mega-rich cannot buy friends on the Internet. It cannot buy truth on Wikipedia; it cannot buy success in digital markets, bribe the digital authorities, or convert into any real form of power in digital politics. People have tried this over and over and it keeps failing. Conclusions In this chapter, I've looked at the digital economy and its assets, bouncing off copyrights and patents in the process.

I certainly can't see it as I walk around Brussels, or drive around Dallas. As you go to your well-paid job and congratulate yourself on getting a good education and choosing the right parents, the notion of occupation is ridiculous. Yet more and more of us are on the other side. We have at best part-time jobs that give us no security, pensions, or health-care. We are born in debt, and we die even poorer, while the mega-rich get richer. Our cities are desolate and abandoned through utter lack of interest from those with the power to make things better. Society is not just more divided than it should be, it is more divided than we can comprehend. Perhaps, if you are a young white American, the reveal began when you saw the New York Police Department (NYPD) beating and arresting peaceful Occupy Wall Street protesters.


pages: 393 words: 115,263

Planet Ponzi by Mitch Feierstein

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, break the buck, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disintermediation, diversification, Donald Trump, energy security, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, frictionless, frictionless market, high net worth, High speed trading, illegal immigration, income inequality, interest rate swap, invention of agriculture, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, mega-rich, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, pensions crisis, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, value at risk, yield curve

The rich are richer than we think and pay less tax than we can credit. The position has become so extreme that even the billionaires are protesting. In a bold, truthful, un-Ponzi-ish op-ed for the New York Times, Warren Buffett wrote: Our leaders have asked for ‘shared sacrifice.’ But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched. While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks … Last year my federal tax bill … was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income‌—‌and that’s actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent … Since 1992, the I.R.S. has compiled data from the returns of the 400 Americans reporting the largest income.


pages: 184 words: 53,625

Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age by Steven Johnson

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Airbus A320, airport security, algorithmic trading, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Donald Davies, future of journalism, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, Jane Jacobs, John Gruber, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, mega-rich, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, packet switching, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, pre–internet, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tim Cook: Apple, urban planning, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche, working poor, X Prize, your tax dollars at work

We don’t have a National Endowment for Detergents, because the private sector has proven to be perfectly adept at producing cheap and variegated quantities of household cleaning supplies. But the market has not performed as well with funding experimental or highbrow creative work. And so we build Legrand Stars to make up for that failure: large institutions with vast sums of money, endowed either by mega-rich patrons or the federal government, controlled by small committees of experts who decide which artists are worth supporting. Historically, Jacob Krupnick would have been forced to choose among three paths: He could reconfigure his artistic vision to make it more compatible with the existing marketplace. He could seek out the patronage of a large institution or, in rare cases, a wealthy individual.


pages: 257 words: 64,763

The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street by Robert Scheer

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banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, facts on the ground, financial deregulation, fixed income, housing crisis, invisible hand, Long Term Capital Management, mega-rich, mortgage debt, new economy, old-boy network, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, too big to fail, trickle-down economics

Greater productivity, lower prices, and enormous new sources of wealth would inevitably follow. Of course, the top echelon of Wall Street insiders would skim the cream off, but, the argument went, the rest of the country would benefit as well. Not only would the economy be stronger, but American individuals, pension plans, and charities could all ride this dragon skyward, through investments and through donations from the mega-rich looking for tax shelters. It is no accident, then, that in each of the recent economic collapses, from Enron to Bernie Madoff, there arose the ever-present laments from charities that were suddenly defunded. The derivatives and swaps involved buying and packaging financial risk and selling it based on a system of corresponding grades. So a bank might buy up a collection of mortgages or credit card debts from lenders, who could then take this capital to bankroll even more loans.


pages: 372 words: 107,587

The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality by Richard Heinberg

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3D printing, agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, banks create money, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Elliott wave, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Gini coefficient, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Kenneth Rogoff, late fees, liberal capitalism, mega-rich, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, naked short selling, Naomi Klein, Negawatt, new economy, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, price stability, private military company, quantitative easing, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, short selling, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade liberalization, tulip mania, working poor, zero-sum game

— Paul Kedrosky (entrepreneur, editor of the econoblog Infectious Greed) In the course of researching and writing this book, I discussed its central thesis — that world economic growth has come to an end — with several economists, various businesspeople, a former hedge fund manager, a topflight business consultant, and the former managing director of one of Wall Street’s largest investment banks, as well as several ecologists and environmental activists. The most common reaction (heard as often from the environmentalists as the bankers) was along the lines of: “But capitalism has a few more tricks up its sleeve. It’s infinitely creative. Even if we’ve hit environmental limits to energy or water, the mega-rich will find ways to amass yet more capital on the way down the depletion slope. It’ll still look like growth to them.” Most economists would probably agree with the view that environmental constraints and a crisis in the financial world don’t add up to the end of growth — just a speed bump in the highway of progress. That’s because smart people will always be thinking of new technologies and of new ways to do more with less.


pages: 334 words: 98,950

Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brownian motion, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, en.wikipedia.org, falling living standards, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial deregulation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour mobility, land reform, liberal world order, liberation theology, low skilled workers, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, mega-rich, moral hazard, offshore financial centre, oil shock, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transfer pricing, urban sprawl, World Values Survey

The company had a royal monopoly on all overseas trading.With Law launching high-profile settlement schemes in Louisiana (French North America) and generating rumours vastly exaggerating their prospects, a speculative frenzy on the company’s stocks started in the summer of 1719. The share price rose by more than 30 times between early 1719 and early 1720. So many large fortunes were made so quickly – and subsequently lost in many cases – that the term millionaire was coined to describe the new mega-rich. In January 1720, Law was even made the finance minister (the Controller General of Finances). But the bubble soon burst, leaving the French financial system in ruins. The Duc d’Orléans dismissed Law in December 1720. Law left France and eventually died penniless in Venice in 1729. * Access to academic books is crucial in enhancing the productive capabilities of developing countries, as my own experience with pirate-copied books, described in the Prologue, suggests.


pages: 362 words: 99,063

The Education of Millionaires: It's Not What You Think and It's Not Too Late by Michael Ellsberg

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affirmative action, Black Swan, Burning Man, corporate governance, creative destruction, financial independence, follow your passion, future of work, hiring and firing, job automation, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, mega-rich, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Norman Mailer, Peter Thiel, profit motive, race to the bottom, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Ballmer, survivorship bias, telemarketer, Tony Hsieh

Whenever I hear that kind of motivational guru-speak, I think of someone standing next to me as I contemplate a bet on a roulette wheel, telling me: “Think big! Never give up on your dream that putting your entire life savings on the number six could pay off big. And if you lose, double down—borrow if you have to—and keep going! Don’t give up! You’ll hit it big one of these days!” The chance of becoming a true star in any given field, on the level of a David Gilmour, or some of the other self-educated mega-famous or mega-rich people I feature in this book (such as billionaires John Paul DeJoria, Phillip Ruffin, and Dustin Moskovitz), is orders of magnitude tinier than the chance of picking the winning number on a roulette spin. It’s more like picking the winning number several spins in a row. I don’t advocate gambling. So I’m not going to tell you to quit college, or quit your comfy corporate job, to pursue your acting career or your singing career or your writing career.


pages: 347 words: 94,701

Don't Trust, Don't Fear, Don't Beg: The Extraordinary Story of the Arctic 30 by Ben Stewart

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3D printing, Desert Island Discs, Edward Snowden, mega-rich, new economy, oil rush, Skype, WikiLeaks

I give blood; volunteer at my local scout group; pick up dog poo off the playing field and I don’t have a dog; went to court as a witness to two violent crimes; helped fight a supermarket development; have taught kids to make award-winning films; have worked on projects for the Stop Aids foundation and the RSPB [Royal Society for the Protection of Birds]; invested £1,000 of my own money to help set up a community wind farm co-operative; and once saved and hand-reared a pigeon called Gerald. But the biggest thing I’ve done in support and protection of society? Coming 180 nautical miles north of the Arctic Circle to protest against Arctic oil drilling, against the greedy mega-rich oil companies Gazprom, Shell and others that do not listen to the warnings about oil spills, runaway climate change, hurricanes, droughts, floods and famines, and continue to make a fortune at the expense of and ‘in contempt of’ the societies of our children and grandchildren. Hooliganism doesn’t even come close to what they are guilty of. So, no, I’m not a pirate and I’m not a hooligan. OK? Can I come home now?


pages: 347 words: 99,317

Bad Samaritans: The Guilty Secrets of Rich Nations and the Threat to Global Prosperity by Ha-Joon Chang

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brownian motion, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, en.wikipedia.org, falling living standards, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial deregulation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour mobility, land reform, liberal world order, liberation theology, low skilled workers, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, mega-rich, moral hazard, offshore financial centre, oil shock, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transfer pricing, urban sprawl, World Values Survey

With Law launching high-profile settlement schemes in Louisiana (French North America) and generating rumours vastly exaggerating their prospects, a speculative frenzy on the company’s stocks started in the summer of 1719. The share price rose by more than 30 times between early 1719 and early 1720. So many large fortunes were made so quickly – and subsequently lost in many cases – that the term millionaire was coined to describe the new mega-rich. In January 1720, Law was even made the finance minister (the Controller General of Finances). But the bubble soon burst, leaving the French financial system in ruins. The Duc d’Orléans dismissed Law in December 1720. Law left France and eventually died penniless in Venice in 1729. iii Access to academic books is crucial in enhancing the productive capabilities of developing countries, as my own experience with pirate-copied books, described in the Prologue, suggests.


pages: 207 words: 86,639

The New Economics: A Bigger Picture by David Boyle, Andrew Simms

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Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, congestion charging, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delayed gratification, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, financial deregulation, financial exclusion, financial innovation, full employment, garden city movement, happiness index / gross national happiness, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, land reform, light touch regulation, loss aversion, mega-rich, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, neoliberal agenda, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, peak oil, pensions crisis, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, working-age population

(John Kenneth) 41, 51 gambling 14–15, 152 Gandhi, Mohandas (Mahatma) 18, 19, 21, 110, 112 Gates, Bill 141 Gates, Jeff 141–2 GDP (gross domestic product) 10, 32, 36–40, 42, 43, 54, 79 alternatives to 40–2, 43 bad measure of success 10, 37, 55, 78 INDEX global 141 UK 4 see also growth genetically modified crops see GM crops Germany 33, 50, 58 Gladwell, Malcolm 68 Global Barter Clubs 57, 58 global commons 113, 148 global currencies 56, 61, 120, 147–8 global greenback 61 global warming 3, 3–4, 115, 155 see also climate change globalization 8, 28, 143, 153 see also interdependence GM (genetically modified) crops 91, 117, 119, 140–1 Goetz, Stephan 124 gold standard 8, 143 Good Life, The (BBC sitcom) 69 goods, local 19, 109, 110 Goodwin, Fred 142 government borrowing 37–8, 49–50, 58, 62, 141 governments 2, 28, 116, 129, 158 creating money 58–9, 62, 90 propping up banking system 6, 7 Graham, Benjamin 120 Grameen Bank 26, 143–4, 153 Great Barrington (Massachusetts) 57, 151–2, 153 Great Depression 3, 36, 57 green bonds 157 green collar jobs 106, 157 Green Consumer Guide, The (Elkington and Hailes, 1988) 26, 69, 72 green economics 23, 100, 117 green energy 26, 97, 102–3, 114, 156, 157 Green New Deal 156–8 green taxation 153 greenhouse gas emissions 3–4, 115, 148 gross domestic product see GDP Gross National Happiness 43 growth 2, 11, 12–13, 23, 36–7, 38–40, 42, 43 185 bad measure of success 10, 158 maximizing 25 and poverty 4, 39–40, 81–2 and progress 39, 78 wealth defined in terms of 32 and well-being 4–5 see also GDP guilds 80, 80–1 happiness 12, 18, 29, 41, 43, 45–6 Happy Planet Index 32–3, 34, 43 Hard Times (Dickens, 1854) 36 HBOS 7 health 46, 72, 78, 96, 115, 129 health costs 117 healthcare 13, 33, 44 hedge funds 5, 7, 97, 120 Helsinki (Finland) 102 HIV/AIDS 70, 111, 135, 148 Honduras 139, 141 house prices 36, 46, 79, 83, 91, 126–7, 151 London 53, 54, 91 see also mortgages Howard, Ebenezer 105, 158 HSBC 5 human interaction 67–8, 74 human needs 20, 24, 67, 86 human rights 110–11, 116, 147 ill-health 35, 38, 46 ‘illth’ 29, 35 IMF (International Monetary Fund) 27, 82, 91, 135–6, 139, 143, 147, 147–8 incomes 24, 37, 43, 44, 78, 79, 81 and happiness 45–6 inequalities 37, 81, 82, 142 of poorest 4, 81, 82, 112, 142 Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare see ISEW India 82, 91, 110, 119, 136, 139–40, 153 indigenous knowledge 82, 117 inequality 4, 81–2, 96, 112–13, 116 inflation 8, 22, 58, 90 information technology 58, 59, 115 186 THE NEW ECONOMICS intellectual property 82, 91, 110, 113, 116, 117 interdependence 111–20, 135–8 Keynes on 19, 109, 110, 115, 143 see also globalization interest 8, 11, 11–12, 58, 77, 157 interest rates 144, 144–5 interest-free money 43, 73, 84, 90 intergenerational equity 25, 117 international bankruptcy 147 International Monetary Fund see IMF investment 14, 45, 53, 60, 104, 118, 137–8 ethical 26, 69–70, 74, 154 involvement 71, 75, 128–30 Iraq 49, 60, 136 ISEW (Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare) 40–1, 43, 78 Islamic banking 58, 90, 146 islands, small 31–2, 33–4 Italy 33, 119–20, 138 Ithaca hours currency 57, 58 It’s a Wonderful Life (film, Capra, 1946) 38 Jacobs, Jane 56, 110, 126 Jaffe, Bernie 126 Japan 26, 50, 91, 113, 119, 128 Jefferson, Thomas 18, 20 Jersey 52, 53 Jones, Allan 103 Jubilee Debt campaign 137 junk bonds 1, 142–3 just-in-time 123–4, 155 Keynes, John Maynard 2, 13–14, 15, 17, 21, 37, 55 on interdependence 19, 109, 110, 115, 143 international currency 61, 120 on local production 19, 109, 110 on ‘practical men’ as ‘slaves of some defunct economist’ 10, 35, 67, 87, 159 Keynesian economics 8, 18, 22, 27, 28 Kinney, Jill 130 Knowsley (Merseyside) 104 Kropotkin, Peter 18 Krugman, Paul 52 land 19, 82, 96 land tax 43 landfill 97, 98, 100, 107 Layard, Richard 41 Lehigh Hospital (Pennsylvania) 129 Letchworth Garden City (Hertfordshire) 105 lets (local exchange and trading systems) 57 liberalism 18, 19, 27 Lietaer, Bernard 56, 61, 120 life 19, 29, 55, 69, 86, 91 need for meaning 42, 75 life expectancy 31, 32–3, 82 life poverty 82–3 life satisfaction 31, 33, 41, 42 Lima (Peru) 130–1 Linton, Michael 57, 58 Living Economy, The (Ekins, 1986) 24–5 LM3 (Local Money 3) 60, 104–5 loans see debt Local Alchemy programme 152–3 local circulation of money 103–5, 107, 124, 151–2 local currencies 26, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 151–2, 153 local economies 26, 81, 85, 86, 105–7, 118, 124, 133 local exchange and trading systems (lets) 57 local food 2, 118, 119–20, 151 local governments 6, 44, 60 local life 4, 81, 158 Local Money 3 see LM3 local production 109, 116, 118 local savings schemes 61 local shops 75, 82–3, 104, 124, 124–5, 126, 151 supermarkets and 80, 105, 125 local wealth 14, 53–4 localization 155–6, 159 London 52, 53, 61, 97, 102, 103 house prices 53, 54, 91 traffic speed 65–6 INDEX London Underground 147 Lutzenberger, Jose 26 Macmillan Cancer Care 88–9 McRobie, George 22, 24 mainstream 4–5, 26, 154, 159–60 see also economics Malawi 135–6, 137 Malaysia 51 Manchester United 155 manipulated debt 139–41 markets 10, 12, 51, 70, 158 financial 1–2, 52, 53, 55, 138, 154–5 free 22, 85, 112–13 new economics and 67, 72–5, 85 Marsh Farm estate (Luton) 104–5, 152–3 Maslow, Abraham 67 materialism 12, 46–7 Max-Neef, Manfred 24 Maxwell, Robert 143 MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) 39, 136 Mead, Margaret 129 meaning, need for 42, 75 measurement problem 36–40 measuring 12, 42, 55, 85 success 2, 8, 10, 43, 44, 55, 154, 156, 158 value 10, 15, 29, 53, 59, 115 wealth 32, 37–40, 53–4 well-being 4, 18, 32–3, 34, 43 mechanics, Cuban 95–6, 97 medieval economics 78–80, 80–1 mega-rich 120, 141, 142 mental health 4, 35, 36, 46, 68, 83 Merck 99 micro-credit 26, 143–4, 145, 146, 151, 153 Milkin, Michael 142 Millennium Development Goals see MDGs minimum wage 92 misery, of UK young people 35–6 Mishan, E.J. 40 Mogridge, Martin 65–6, 74 Mondragon (Spain), cooperatives 153 money 8, 11, 13, 18, 27, 29, 36, 95 187 as a bad measure 10, 15, 18, 53, 59, 90, 143, 154 creating 7, 56–7, 58–9, 84, 90, 120, 138, 147 designed for money markets 53 economics and 25, 127 externalities 35 and life 55, 86, 154, 159 local circulation 103–5, 107, 124, 151–2 means to an end 15 new economics view 15, 59–60, 89 new ways of organizing 56–60 re-using 103–5 replacing with well-being 42 slowing down 51–2, 60 too little 57 types of 14–15, 57, 59, 120 and value 10, 15, 53, 59 and wealth 15, 19, 32, 38, 78 and well-being 18, 21, 81 see also GDP; growth; price; trickle down money flows 26, 50–2, 60, 103–5, 107, 124, 136–8 money markets 1–2, 52, 53, 55, 138, 154–5 money poverty 81–2 money system 7–8, 50–6, 60 monopolies 8, 20, 83, 84–6, 89–90, 125–6, 133, 146 Monsanto 85, 140 moral philosophy 12, 19, 72–3 morality 8, 18, 28, 74, 115 economics and 12, 19, 22 Morris, William 18, 78, 151 mortgages 1, 4, 5–6, 6, 7, 46, 91 working to pay 46, 68, 73, 77–8, 79, 81, 83, 84, 89, 126–7, 140 see also house prices motivations 4–5, 11, 67–9, 70, 71, 72, 73, 75 multinationals 14, 61, 84–5, 90, 137–8, 139, 143 multiple currencies 58, 59–60, 60, 90 multiplier effect 103–5 Murdoch, Rupert 52 188 THE NEW ECONOMICS Myers, Norman 117 Nanumaea (Tuvalu) 34 national accounting 37–8, 38–9 national debt 49–50, 83, 84, 139, 141 national grid 102, 106 National Health Service see NHS natural capital 3, 99 natural resources 22, 40, 43, 84, 97–8 needs 20, 24, 25, 67, 75, 86 basic 25, 89, 91–2, 115 nef (the new economics foundation) 24, 26, 45, 71, 104, 131–2, 145 Local Alchemy programme 152–3 see also Happy Planet Index; LM3 ‘neo-liberal’ policies 8, 27–8 Nether Wallop (Hampshire) 80, 81 The Netherlands 58, 106, 138 New Century 5 New Deal for Communities 152 New Deal (US) 157 new economics 2–3, 9–10, 18–19, 28–9, 59, 153–4, 159–60 Cuba as object lesson 96–7 history of 9–10, 18–19, 21–7 and the mainstream 26 as new definition of wealth 15 principles 35, 157–8 new economics foundation see nef New York City 52, 128 News Corporation 52 NHS (National Health Service) 87, 114, 131 Northern Rock 6 Nottingham 35 Nu-Spaarpas experiment 106 Obama, Barack 154, 157 obsolescence, built-in 98, 100, 101 odious debt 146 offshore assets 136–7 offshore financial centres 52–3, 61 oil 3, 96, 115, 117, 155 Oil Legacy Fund 157 orchards 111, 112, 115, 124 organic food 26 Ostrom, Elinor 127 out-of-town retailing 75, 80, 123, 132 overconsumption 32, 40, 44, 113 Owen, Robert 57 ownership 11, 46, 60, 91, 118, 156 paid work 87–9, 92 palm oil 112 Partners in Health 130–1 peak oil 3, 96, 117, 155 Pearce, David 25–6, 98, 115 Peasants’ Revolt (1381) 18 pensions 7, 44, 61, 73, 155 people, as assets 15, 57–8, 128–9, 130, 131 permit trading 45, 117–18, 148 personal carbon allowances 45, 117–18 personal debt 7, 36, 83–4, 91, 140, 141 Petrini, Carlo 119–20 Pettifor, Ann 135, 137 philanthropy 130, 133 policy makers 28, 35, 73, 87, 90 assumptions of 67, 68, 73, 128 Keynes on 10, 35, 67, 87, 159 political agenda 42–7 politicians 11, 54, 159 politics, new 159 pollution 10, 35, 37, 40, 98, 112, 114 by GM genes 91, 117, 119 poor 29, 145–6 Porritt, Jonathon 23 post-autistic economics 9–10, 71–2 poverty 4, 23, 35, 79–80, 81–2, 127 economic system and 13–14, 18, 29, 81–2, 154 interdependence leading to 111–15 reduction 39–40, 51–2, 61, 116, 124–5 poverty gap 4, 52–3, 78, 82 power 10, 12, 25, 28, 53, 141–2 corporate 20, 28, 85 monopoly power 83, 89–90, 125–6, 146 power relationships 29, 114 price 10, 67, 72, 73, 115, 153 Price, Andrew 132 INDEX prices 80, 156, 158 Pritchard, Alison 23 product life cycle 97–8, 101 professionals 130, 132, 133, 159 profits 12, 13, 99 progress 36, 37–8, 39, 43, 44, 77–8, 81–2, 84 Proudhon, Pierre-Joseph 120 psychology, economics and 67–8, 71, 72–3 public goods 148 public sector commissioning 131–2, 133 public services 45, 74, 127–32, 158 public transport 66, 74 ‘purchasing power parity’ 81 Putnam, Robert 126–7, 127–8 189 retirement 46, 73 see also pensions rewarded work 88 rewards 7, 8, 11, 25, 92, 141, 142 roads 66, 115 Robertson, James 17, 22, 23, 55, 145 Rockefeller, John D. 28 Roman Catholic church 19, 21, 117 Roosevelt, Eleanor 96 Roosevelt, Franklin Delano 157 Rotterdam (The Netherlands) 106 rubbish 97–105 Rupasingha, Anil 124 Rushey Green surgery (London) 131 Ruskin, John 17–18, 18, 29, 35, 78, 81 Russia 110 qoin system 58 rainforests 4, 10, 111, 112 ‘rational man’ assumption 10, 71 RBS 142 re-use 97, 99, 100–5 Reagan, Ronald 22, 27 real money, generating 120 ‘real’ wealth 2, 32, 36–40 reciprocity 44, 128, 128–30, 133 see also co-production recycling 97, 98, 100–1, 105–6, 106–7 redistribution 19, 27, 52, 96 regeneration 27, 104, 105, 107, 116, 124, 128 regional currencies 58, 59, 60 regulation 129, 156 competition 85, 113, 125, 126, 133 financial sector 53, 85, 157 relationships 4, 69, 83, 128–30 remittances 137 Rendell, Matt 33 renewable energy 26, 97, 102, 102–3, 114, 156, 157 repair 97, 98, 101, 105, 107 resources 32, 43, 97–8, 99, 100–1, 114, 158 local 25, 115 natural 22, 40, 43, 84, 97–8 St Louis (Missouri) 131 Samoa 34 Sane (South African New Economics) 58 saving seeds 91, 117, 119, 141 savings 7, 46, 73, 90, 157 schools 131 Schor, Juliet 83 Schumacher, E.F.

Pandora's Brain by Calum Chace

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3D printing, AI winter, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, brain emulation, Extropian, friendly AI, hive mind, mega-rich, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, technological singularity, theory of mind, Turing test, Wall-E

‘People like Bill Joy and Francis Fukuyama have called for a worldwide ban on certain kinds of technological research, but it’s like nuclear weapons: the genie is out of the bottle. The idea of so-called ‘relinquishment’ is simply not an option. If by some miracle, the governments of North America and Europe all agreed to stop the research, would all the countries in the world follow suit? And all the mega-rich? Could we really set up some kind of worldwide Turing police force to prevent the creation of a super-intelligence anywhere in the world, despite the astonishing competitive advantage that would confer for a business, or an army? I don’t think so.’ Ross’s mask of concerned curiosity failed to conceal his delight at the sensationalist nature of Montaubon’s vision. This show had been billed as the must-see TV programme of the week, and so far it was living up the expectation.


pages: 372 words: 109,536

The Panama Papers: Breaking the Story of How the Rich and Powerful Hide Their Money by Frederik Obermaier

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banking crisis, blood diamonds, credit crunch, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Snowden, family office, high net worth, income inequality, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, mega-rich, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, out of africa, race to the bottom, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks

The most recent activity of the Bahamas-based company seen in our data is the sale of a luxury yacht – the nominee directors signed the associated contract. Joachim zu Baldernach had decided to buy himself an even bigger yacht, a mega-yacht tailor-made to his own specifications. By all appearances, this yacht is also held by a shell company in another tax haven. All perfectly organized by a professional family office. But is it normal to set up one offshore company here, one there, and another over there? In the world of the mega-rich, the answer is evidently: yes. [ ] At some point towards the end of the last century, a parallel universe emerged in which the ‘uber-wealthy’, a term used in America to describe the richest of the rich, park their assets somewhere offshore, simply as a matter of course. The number of very rich and very famous families in our data who have parked part of their assets in shell companies is in three figures.


pages: 618 words: 159,672

Fodor's Rome: With the Best City Walks and Scenic Day Trips by Fodor's Travel Publications Inc.

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call centre, Donald Trump, glass ceiling, haute couture, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Mason jar, mega-rich, Murano, Venice glass, urban planning, young professional

To the right the room segues into the area of the Temple of Jupiter, with its original ruins rising organically into the museum space. A reconstruction of the temple and Capitol Hill from the Bronze Age to present day makes for a fascinating glance through the ages. Some of the pottery and bones on display were dug up from as early as the 12th century BC, recasting Romulus and Remus as Johnny-come-latelies. Off left are rooms dedicated to statuary from the so-called Horti, or the gardens of ancient Rome’s great and mega-rich. From the Horti Lamiani is the Venere Esquilina doing her hair. (Look for the fingers at the back, at the end of the missing arms.) Believe it or not, you might be gazing at the young Cleopatra invited to Rome by Julius Caesar. Or so say some experts—a further clue is the asp. In the same room is an extraordinary bust of the Emperor Commodus, seen here as Hercules and unearthed in the late 1800s during building work for the new capital.


pages: 349 words: 134,041

Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives by Satyajit Das

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, beat the dealer, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, BRICs, Brownian motion, business process, buy low sell high, call centre, capital asset pricing model, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Thorp, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Everything should be made as simple as possible, financial innovation, fixed income, Haight Ashbury, high net worth, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index card, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, John Meriwether, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, mass affluent, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, new economy, New Journalism, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Parkinson's law, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, regulatory arbitrage, Right to Buy, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Satyajit Das, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, technology bubble, the medium is the message, the new new thing, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, Vanguard fund, volatility smile, yield curve, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond

The problem was they couldn’t ‘blue sky’ – this generation get at the money, it was almost entirely in sold cyberspace. the form of stock in the company. There was an additional complication: in doing the IPO, the original owner generally had to give an undertaking not to sell their shares for a specific time (usually one to two years). The phenomenon of paper-rich, cash-poor entrepreneurs was a problem made for equity derivatives. The promoters were generally private bankers to the newly mega-rich entrepreneurs. The monetization solutions generally circumvented the share sale restriction. Ironically, sometimes two arms of the same institution were involved: one negotiated the sales restriction, the other arranged a way out of the restriction. This is one of the few cases where internal Chinese walls in firms were useful. There was ‘going short against the box’. The investor borrowed shares in the market, then they short sold the borrowed shares.


pages: 538 words: 147,612

All the Money in the World by Peter W. Bernstein

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Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, call centre, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, currency peg, David Brooks, Donald Trump, estate planning, family office, financial innovation, George Gilder, high net worth, invisible hand, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Martin Wolf, Maui Hawaii, means of production, mega-rich, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, Norman Mailer, PageRank, Peter Singer: altruism, pez dispenser, popular electronics, Renaissance Technologies, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, school vouchers, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the new new thing, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, traveling salesman, urban planning, wealth creators, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce

In Veblen’s day: See Arthur T. Vanderbilt II, Fortune’s Children: The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt (New York: William Morrow, 1989), for more details on the period. 13. In 2007 timber baron Tim Blixseth: Forbes.com. 14. Media mogul John Kluge: Information on the mansions in this section comes mostly from Forbes.com. 15. On the West Coast: Patricia Leigh Brown, “Techno-Dwellings for the Cyber-Egos of the Mega-Rich,” New York Times, Aug. 4, 1996. 16. Multimillion-dollar homes: “Real Estate of Bay Area Billionaires,” http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-2Ojrgz8zaa.tuoHABvthpbldl6KImA—?cq=1&p=158. 17. Few areas of America: Munk, “Greenwich’s Outrageous Fortunes.” 18. For a few heady months in 2000: [Unsigned,] “Gates Loses Title as World’s Richest Man,” news.com, Apr. 2000. 19. In 2007 the online real-estate Web site Zillow.com: Jeffrey M.


pages: 444 words: 151,136

Endless Money: The Moral Hazards of Socialism by William Baker, Addison Wiggin

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Andy Kessler, asset allocation, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, break the buck, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, capital asset pricing model, commoditize, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, debt deflation, Elliott wave, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, fiat currency, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, German hyperinflation, housing crisis, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, McMansion, mega-rich, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, naked short selling, negative equity, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, rent control, reserve currency, riskless arbitrage, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, seigniorage, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, the scientific method, time value of money, too big to fail, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra, young professional

We are opting to solve the two problems of our time—excessive debt and moral hazard—with more debt and insulation from risk. Realistically, with an accommodative and successful Democraticcontrolled Congress, we might move from an all-in state, federal, and FICA 60-plus percent rate to something far higher. Proposals such as a bill before the Senate (“Global Poverty Act” S2433) authored by Obama when he was in the Senate that seeks to dedicate 0.7 percent of U.S. GDP annually to foreign aid might become law. Still, mega-rich liberals such as Buffett and Soros might continue to see nearly all of their income be subject to something less than half this, since neither tycoon derives much if anything from W-2s or ordinary income like regular Americans do.5, 6 Even if the credit crisis fades, two terms of socialism might pass, only to be in hailing distance of IOUs from Social Security and Medicare being taken out of the vault and presented to the U.S.

The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be by Moises Naim

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additive manufacturing, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, deskilling, disintermediation, don't be evil, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, intangible asset, intermodal, invisible hand, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, liberation theology, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, megacity, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, new economy, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, open borders, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, private military company, profit maximization, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

Interestingly, the billionaire who gained the most wealth between 2007 and 2008, Indian industrialist Anil Ambani, was also the one who lost the most the next year (though he still ranked 118 in 2012). 20 According to a 2012 study by wealth intelligence firm Wealth-X, between mid-2011 and mid-2012 Chinese billionaires lost almost a third of their combined wealth.21 No one is shedding any tears for the plight of the mega-rich. But the turbulence in the world’s wealth rankings rounds out a picture of insecurity at the top of the business world— whether of bosses, corporations, or brands—that is heightened relative to any time in recent memory, in a business arena that is more global and diverse than at any time in the past. The turmoil at the top makes an odd contrast with the widely prevailing idea that we live now in an era of unprecedented corporate power.


pages: 598 words: 172,137

Who Stole the American Dream? by Hedrick Smith

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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

So many exotic tax shelters have been invented by ingenious tax lawyers and accountants to reduce the taxes of the super-rich that former IRS commissioner Charles Rossotti, a Republican businessman, estimated the tax loss to illegitimate tax evasions at $250 billion to $350 billion a year. As a result, Rossotti told me, honest taxpayers have to pay 15 percent more in their taxes. “Stop Coddling the Super-Rich,” declares Warren Buffett, the famous billionaire investor from Omaha. “I know well many of the mega-rich and, by and large, they are very decent people. They love America and appreciate the opportunity this country has given them…. Most wouldn’t mind being told to pay more in taxes as well, particularly when so many of their fellow citizens are truly suffering.” As Buffett has frequently pointed out, the super-rich make most of their money from the stock market and other investments, which are taxed at the 15 percent capital gains rate, much lower than the tax rate on most middle-class salaries.


pages: 741 words: 179,454

Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk by Satyajit Das

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andy Kessler, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, discrete time, diversification, diversified portfolio, Doomsday Clock, Edward Thorp, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, financial innovation, financial thriller, fixed income, full employment, global reserve currency, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, index fund, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, load shedding, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, negative equity, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, pets.com, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Right to Buy, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Satyajit Das, savings glut, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the market place, the medium is the message, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

This money was invested, making more money to fund consumption or simply to attest to wealth. For the wealthy, financialization of life was trading and speculation; using money was a means to an end and an end in itself. This even changed the source of wealth, with almost a quarter of the 2006 rich owing their fortunes to the finance sector compared with less than one-tenth in 1982. Trickling Down, Trading Up Most of the population generally got richer, not über or even mega rich, but comfortable. Middle-class incomes increased broadly throughout the world. In 1914, Henry Ford doubled workers’ pay from $2.34 to $5 per day and introduced a new, reduced working week. Ford argued that paying people more would enable workers to afford the cars that they were producing. The U.S. auto industry pioneered the basic wage in 1948. Harley Shaiken, a labor economist at the University of California at Berkeley, observed: “The most important model that rolled off the Detroit assembly lines in the 20th century was the middle class for blue-collar workers.”5 In trickle-down economics, benefits flow down from the top to the bottom.


pages: 941 words: 237,152

USA's Best Trips by Sara Benson

Albert Einstein, California gold rush, car-free, carbon footprint, desegregation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, if you build it, they will come, indoor plumbing, McMansion, mega-rich, New Urbanism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, the High Line, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration

Dedicate at least two hours to the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate. It’s housed in the 1897 former headquarters of the Phelps Dodge Copper Mining Co and does an excellent job documenting the town’s past and the changing face of mining. You even get to “drive” an industrial mining shovel with a dipper larger than most living rooms. * * * GEORGE WARREN He may be credited with discovering Bisbee’s mega-rich Queen Mine, but George Warren’s tale is a hard-luck one. He was sent to investigate a promising deposit spotted by two other prospectors, and ended up filing the mining claim in his own name. So far, so good. Warren then downed a few drinks at the local pub, boasted that he could outrun a horse, bet his new mine claim on the stunt…and lost. Soon after, Queen Mine started producing a fortune. Warren’s consolation prize?


pages: 775 words: 208,604

The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality From the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century by Walter Scheidel

agricultural Revolution, assortative mating, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collective bargaining, colonial rule, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, corporate governance, cosmological principle, crony capitalism, dark matter, declining real wages, demographic transition, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, fixed income, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, John Markoff, knowledge worker, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, means of production, mega-rich, Network effects, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, rent control, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, Simon Kuznets, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, universal basic income, very high income, working-age population, zero-sum game

In 2013, President Barack Obama elevated rising inequality to a “defining challenge”: And that is a dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility that has jeopardized middle-class America’s basic bargain—that if you work hard, you have a chance to get ahead. I believe this is the defining challenge of our time: Making sure our economy works for every working American. Two years earlier, multibillionaire investor Warren Buffett had complained that he and his “mega-rich friends” did not pay enough taxes. These sentiments are widely shared. Within eighteen months of its publication in 2013, a 700-page academic tome on capitalist inequality had sold 1.5 million copies and risen to the top of the New York Times nonfiction hardcover bestseller list. In the Democratic Party primaries for the 2016 presidential election, Senator Bernie Sanders’s relentless denunciation of the “billionaire class” roused large crowds and elicited millions of small donations from grassroots supporters.


pages: 1,073 words: 302,361

Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World by William D. Cohan

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asset-backed security, Bernie Madoff, buttonwood tree, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversified portfolio, fear of failure, financial innovation, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, hiring and firing, hive mind, Hyman Minsky, interest rate swap, John Meriwether, Kenneth Arrow, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, paper trading, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price stability, profit maximization, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, South Sea Bubble, time value of money, too big to fail, traveling salesman, value at risk, yield curve, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

There was also a growing concern among the partners that because their liability was not limited, their entire net worth was on the line as the losses mounted. Some partners were beginning to think that everything they had built up for so long at Goldman might be at serious risk of being lost, since their capital remained at the firm and their annual cash compensation was limited to an 8 percent dividend on their capital account. “Partners are seen outside as mega-rich, but that is not the case at all,” Mike O’Brien told The Independent, a U.K. newspaper, in September 1992. “Their capital stays with the firm. My C-registration Ford Granada is testament to that.” (On the other hand, one of O’Brien’s London partners, David Morrison, drove a Ferrari around town.) For the banking partner who started 1994 with a $7 million capital account and ended with a $4 million capital account, after absorbing the trading losses, his cash compensation for the year decreased to $320,000, from $560,000.

Great Britain by David Else, Fionn Davenport

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active transport: walking or cycling, Albert Einstein, Beeching cuts, British Empire, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, Columbine, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Attenborough, Etonian, food miles, glass ceiling, global village, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, land reform, Livingstone, I presume, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, mega-rich, negative equity, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, period drama, place-making, Skype, Sloane Ranger, South of Market, San Francisco, Stephen Hawking, the market place, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Winter of Discontent

Soho is undoubtedly the heart of bar culture, with enough variety to cater to all tastes. Camden’s great for grungy boozers and rock kids, although it’s facing stiff competition on the Bohemian-cool front from the venues around Hoxton and Shoreditch. Now that Princes William and Harry have hit their stride, the Sloane Ranger scene has been reborn in exclusive venues in South Ken(sington), although the ‘Turbo Sloanes’ now count mega-rich commoners among their numbers. The rest of us mere mortals will find plenty of pub-crawl potential in places like Islington, Clerkenwell, Southwark, Notting Hill, Earl’s Court…hell, it’s just not that difficult. The reviews below are simply to make sure you don’t miss out on some of the most historic, unusual, best-positioned or excellent examples of the genre. St James’s & Mayfair Absolut Ice Bar (Map; 7478 8910; 31-33 Heddon St W1; midday-midnight; admission Thu-Sat £15, Sun-Wed £12; Piccadilly Circus) At -6°C, this bar made entirely of ice is literally the coolest in London.