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Fortunes of Change: The Rise of the Liberal Rich and the Remaking of America by David Callahan

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, American Legislative Exchange Council, automated trading system, Bernie Sanders, Bonfire of the Vanities, carbon footprint, carried interest, clean water, corporate social responsibility, David Brooks, demographic transition, desegregation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Thorp, financial deregulation, financial independence, global village, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, high net worth, income inequality, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, medical malpractice, mega-rich, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, NetJets, new economy, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Florida, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, short selling, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, stem cell, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, unpaid internship, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty, working poor, World Values Survey

His cousin Franklin would draw even more hostility, as Time noted in 1936: “With few exceptions, members of the so-called Upper Class frankly hate Roosevelt.”4 Today, both men would find plenty of company in their liberal politics among fellow swells. Many super-rich Americans donate exclusively to Democrats; more corporate executives are embracing causes such as gay rights and environmentalism; prominent billionaires have publicly called for tax increases on high earners; and the mega-rich have begun to bankroll liberal organizations with unprecedented sums of money. Meanwhile, the traditional politics of class are turning upside down in many places as America’s most affluent communities throw new support to the Democratic Party—a party cintro.indd 3 5/11/10 6:29:09 AM 4 fortunes of change that has tacked notably to the left since the Clinton era. In August 2009, Gallup released a list of the most liberal states as measured by the percentage of residents who self-identify with this label.

cintro.indd 5 5/11/10 6:29:10 AM 6 fortunes of change The rich have enough money to live in America’s wealthiest neighborhoods, send their kids to private schools, give generously to charity or political candidates, belong to exclusive clubs, fly on private jets, vacation at the most exclusive resorts, and leave an inheritance to their children. Because the cost of all of this varies by place, I don’t offer a dollar threshold to define the rich. Also, this book is really about two different classes of the wealthy: I explore the changing beliefs of the ultra-affluent class as a whole—those in the top 1 percent of households—which is quite a large group, but also the political activism and philanthropy of the mega-rich, a much smaller group of people who have personal fortunes of hundreds of millions or billions of dollars. The ranks of both the ultra-affluent and the super-rich have soared in the last fifteen years and remain very large today, despite the financial crash. According to the authoritative World Wealth Report, there were 2.5 million high-net-worth individuals in the United States at the end of 2008, who were defined as people who each had at least $1 million in investable assets.

Robert Redford had been involved with NRDC since its earliest days, but the organization didn’t start to raise truly big money in Hollywood until the late 1990s, when Alan Horn and director Rob Reiner spent three full days taking Adams around to visit all of the heads of major Hollywood studios. Soon the contributions were rolling in. Reiner also arranged for Adams to meet Laurie David, who was married to Larry David, the mega-rich producer of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. David became an ardent fan of NRDC and a prominent donor. She joined the board of directors and shook other money trees around town. In 2004, David put together a star-studded fund-raiser for the group that brought in celebrity donors such as Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Michelle Pfeiffer. The event raised $3 million in a single night. DiCaprio also joined the board.

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

call centre, delayed gratification, experimental subject, full employment, hedonic treadmill, impulse control, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, mega-rich, Naomi Klein, Own Your Own Home, post-materialism, post-work, 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: 215 words: 59,188

Seriously Curious: The Facts and Figures That Turn Our World Upside Down by Tom Standage

agricultural Revolution, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blood diamonds, corporate governance, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, failed state, financial independence, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, high net worth, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, Internet of things, invisible hand, job-hopping, Julian Assange, life extension, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, mega-rich, megacity, Minecraft, mobile money, natural language processing, Nelson Mandela, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, ransomware, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, South China Sea, speech recognition, stem cell, supply-chain management, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, undersea cable, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks

How to measure the black market for cigarettes Mapping the rise and fall of witch-hunting Globally curious: peculiar proclivities from around the world Why spaghetti is smuggled across the Sahara Why so many places are called Guinea – and turkeys don’t come from Turkey Why New Zealand has so many gang members Why the exorcism business is booming in France Why China has the world’s worst flight delays Why Somaliland is east Africa’s strongest democracy Why yurts are going out of style in Mongolia Which cities have the highest murder rates? Why young Britons are committing fewer crimes How car colours reflect Britain’s national mood Why Swedes overpay their taxes Mapping the world’s mega-rich Why nobody knows how many Nigerians there are Why Chinese children born in the year of the dragon are more successful Sexual selection: love, sex and marriage Why the sperm-bank business is booming How porn consumption changed during Hawaii’s false alarm Why transgender people are being sterilised in some European countries How opinions on acceptable male behaviour vary by age, sex and nationality What porn and listings sites reveal about Britain’s gay population Attitudes to same-sex relationships around the world Why couples do more housework than single people What men and women think about their partners’ careers and housework How fracking boosts birth rates What explains Europe’s low birth rates?

Sweden’s negative interest rates, which had been expected to rise in early 2018, were instead extended, which suggests that overpayment of taxes will also go on longer than expected. It sounds like the sort of problem a government in southern Europe would be delighted to have. In Sweden, however, officials would much prefer taxpayers to cool it – and pay a bit less in tax. Mapping the world’s mega-rich High-net-worth individuals Global wealth*, $trn Source: Capgemini *Individuals with at least $1m of investable assets The global number of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) grew by 7.5% to 16.5m in 2017, according to the World Wealth Report by Capgemini, a consulting firm. HNWIs have at least $1m in investable assets, excluding their main home, its contents and collectable items. Total HNWI wealth came to $63.5trn in 2017, with the highest proportion concentrated in the Asia-Pacific region.

For more explainers and charts from The Economist, visit Index A Africa child marriage 84 democracy 40 gay and lesbian rights 73, 74 Guinea 32 mobile phones 175–6 see also individual countries agriculture 121–2 Aguiar, Mark 169 air pollution 143–4 air travel and drones 187–8 flight delays 38–9 Akitu (festival) 233 alcohol beer consumption 105–6 consumption in Britain 48, 101–2 craft breweries 97–8 drink-driving 179–80 wine glasses 101–2 Alexa (voice assistant) 225 Algeria food subsidies 31 gay and lesbian rights 73 All I Want for Christmas Is You (Carey) 243 alphabet 217–18 Alternative for Germany (AfD) 223, 224 Alzheimer’s disease 140 Amazon (company) 225 America see United States and 227–8 Angola 73, 74 animals blood transfusions 139–40 dog meat 91–2 gene drives 153–4 size and velocity 163–4 and water pollution 149–50 wolves 161–2 Arctic 147–8 Argentina gay and lesbian rights 73 lemons 95–6 lithium 17–18 Ariel, Barak 191 Arizona 85 arms trade 19–20 Asia belt and road initiative 117–18 high-net-worth individuals 53 wheat consumption 109–10 see also individual countries Assange, Julian 81–3 asteroids 185–6 augmented reality (AR) 181–2 August 239–40 Australia avocados 89 forests 145 inheritance tax 119 lithium 17, 18 shark attacks 201–2 autonomous vehicles (AVs) 177–8 Autor, David 79 avocados 89–90 B Babylonians 233 Baltimore 99 Bangladesh 156 bank notes 133–4 Bateman, Tim 48 beer consumption 105–6 craft breweries 97–8 Beijing air pollution 143–4 dogs 92 belt and road initiative 117–18 betting 209–10 Bier, Ethan 153 Bils, Mark 169 birds and aircraft 187 guinea fowl 32–3 birth rates Europe 81–3 United States 79–80 black money 133–4 Black Power 34, 35 Blade Runner 208 blood transfusions 139–40 board games 199–200 body cameras 191–2 Boko Haram 5, 15–16 Bolivia 17–18 Bollettieri, Nick 197 bookmakers 209–10 Borra, Cristina 75 Bosnia 221–2 brain computers 167–8 Brazil beer consumption 105, 106 Christmas music 243, 244 end-of-life care 141–2 gay and lesbian rights 73 murder rate 45, 46 shark attacks 202 breweries 97–8 Brexit, and car colours 49–50 brides bride price 5 diamonds 13–14 Britain alcohol consumption 101–2 car colours 49–50 Christmas music 244 cigarette sales 23–4 craft breweries 98 crime 47–8 Easter 238 gay population 70–72 housing material 8 inheritance tax 119 Irish immigration 235 life expectancy 125 manufacturing jobs 131 national identity 223–4 new-year resolutions 234 police body cameras 191 sexual harassment 67, 68, 69 sperm donation 61 see also Scotland Brookings Institution 21 Browning, Martin 75 bubonic plague 157–8 Bush, George W. 119 C cables, undersea 193–4 California and Argentine lemons 95, 96 avocados 90 cameras 191–2 Canada diamonds 13 drones 188 lithium 17 national identity 223–4 capitalism, and birth rates 81–2 Carey, Mariah 243 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 21 cars colours 49–50 self-driving 177–8 Caruana, Fabiano 206 Charles, Kerwin 169 cheetahs 163, 164 chess 205–6 Chetty, Raj 113 Chicago 100 children birth rates 79–80, 81–3 child marriage 84–5 in China 56–7 crime 47–8 and gender pay gap 115–16, 135–6 obesity 93–4 Chile gay and lesbian rights 73 lithium 17–18 China air pollution 143–5 arms sales 19–20 avocados 89 beer consumption 105 belt and road initiative 117–18 childhood obesity 93 construction 7 dog meat 91–2 dragon children 56–7 flight delays 38–9 foreign waste 159–60 lithium 17 rice consumption 109–10 Choi, Roy 99 Christian, Cornelius 26 Christianity Easter 237–8 new year 233–4 Christmas 246–7 music 243–5 cigarettes affordability 151–2 black market 23–4 cities, murder rates 44–6 Citizen Kane 207 citrus wars 95–6 civil wars 5 Clarke, Arthur C. 183 Coase, Ronald 127, 128 cocaine 44 cochlear implants 167 Cohen, Jake 203 Colen, Liesbeth 106 colleges, US 113–14 Colombia 45 colours, cars 49–50 commodities 123–4 companies 127–8 computers augmented reality 181–2 brain computers 167–8 emojis 215–16 and languages 225–6 spam e-mail 189–90 Connecticut 85 Connors, Jimmy 197 contracts 127–8 Costa Rica 89 couples career and family perception gap 77–8 housework 75–6 see also marriage cows 149–50 craft breweries 97–8 crime and avocados 89–90 and dog meat 91–2 murder rates 44–6 young Britons 47–8 CRISPR-Cas9 153 Croatia 222 Croato-Serbian 221–2 D Daily-Diamond, Christopher 9–10 Davis, Mark 216 De Beers 13–14 death 141–2 death taxes 119–20 democracy 40–41 Deng Xiaoping 117 Denmark career and family perception gap 78 gender pay gap 135–6 sex reassignment 65 Denver 99 Devon 72 diamonds 13–14, 124 digitally remastering 207–8 Discovery Channel 163–4 diseases 157–8 dog meat 91–2 Dorn, David 79 Dr Strangelove 207 dragon children 56–7 drink see alcohol drink-driving 179–80 driverless cars 177–8 drones and aircraft 187–8 and sharks 201 drugs cocaine trafficking 44 young Britons 48 D’Souza, Kiran 187 E e-mail 189–90 earnings, gender pay gap 115–16, 135–6 Easter 237–8 economy and birth rates 79–80, 81–2 and car colours 49–50 and witch-hunting 25–6 education and American rich 113–14 dragon children 56–7 Egal, Muhammad Haji Ibrahim 40–41 Egypt gay and lesbian rights 73 marriage 5 new-year resolutions 233 El Paso 100 El Salvador 44, 45 emojis 215–16 employment gender pay gap 115–16, 135–6 and gender perception gap 77–8 job tenure 129–30 in manufacturing 131–2 video games and unemployment 169–70 English language letter names 217–18 Papua New Guinea 219 environment air pollution 143–4 Arctic sea ice 147–8 and food packaging 103–4 waste 159–60 water pollution 149–50 Equatorial Guinea 32 Eritrea 40 Ethiopia 40 Europe craft breweries 97–8 summer holidays 239–40 see also individual countries Everson, Michael 216 exorcism 36–7 F Facebook augmented reality 182 undersea cables 193 FANUC 171, 172 Federer, Roger 197 feminism, and birth rates 81–2 fertility rates see birth rates festivals Christmas 246–7 Christmas music 243–5 new-year 233–4 Feuillet, Catherine 108 films 207–8 firms 127–8 5G 173–4 flight delays 38–9 Florida and Argentine lemons 95 child marriage 85 Foley, William 220 food avocados and crime 89–90 dog meat 91–2 lemons 95–6 wheat consumption 109–10 wheat genome 107–8 food packaging 103–4 food trucks 99–100 football clubs 211–12 football transfers 203–4 forests 145–6, 162 Fountains of Paradise, The (Clarke) 183 fracking 79–80 France career and family perception gap 78 Christmas music 244 exorcism 36–7 gender-inclusive language 229–30 job tenure 130 sex reassignment 66 sexual harassment 68–9 witch-hunting 26, 27 wolves 161–2 G gambling 209–10 games, and unemployment 169–70 Gandhi, Mahatma 155 gang members 34–5 Gantz, Valentino 153 gas 124 gay population 70–72 gay rights, attitudes to 73–4 gender sex reassignment 65–6 see also men; women gender equality and birth rates 81–2 in language 229–30 gender pay gap 115–16, 135–6 gene drives 153–4 Genghis Khan 42 genome, wheat 107–8 ger districts 42–3 Germany beer consumption 105 job tenure 130 national identity 223–4 sexual harassment 68, 69 vocational training 132 witch-hunting 26, 27 Ghana 73 gig economy 128, 130 glasses, wine glasses 101–2 Goddard, Ceri 72 Google 193 Graduate, The 207 Greece forests 145 national identity 223–4 sex reassignment 65 smoking ban 152 Gregg, Christine 9–10 grunting 197–8 Guatemala 45 Guinea 32 guinea fowl 32–3 guinea pig 32 Guinea-Bissau 32 Guo Peng 91–2 Guyana 32 H Haiti 5 Hale, Sarah Josepha 242 Hanson, Gordon 79 Hawaii ’Oumuamua 185 porn consumption 63–4 health child obesity 93–4 life expectancy 125–6 plague 157–8 and sanitation 155 high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) 53 Hiri Motu 219 holidays Easter 237–8 St Patrick’s Day 235–6 summer holidays 239–40 Thanksgiving 241–2 HoloLens 181–2 homicide 44–6 homosexuality attitudes to 73–4 UK 70–72 Honduras 44, 45 Hong Kong 56 housework 75–6, 77–8 Hudson, Valerie 5 Hungary 223–4 Hurst, Erik 169 I ice 147–8 Ikolo, Prince Anthony 199 India bank notes 133–4 inheritance tax 119 languages 219 rice consumption 109 sand mafia 7 sanitation problems 155–6 Indonesia polygamy and civil war 5 rice consumption 109–10 inheritance taxes 119–20 interest rates 51–2 interpunct 229–30 Ireland aitch 218 forests 145 St Patrick’s Day 235–6 same-sex marriage 73 sex reassignment 65 Italy birth rate 82 end of life care 141–2 forests 145 job tenure 130 life expectancy 126 J Jacob, Nitya 156 Jamaica 45 Japan 141–2 Jighere, Wellington 199 job tenure 129–30 jobs see employment Johnson, Bryan 168 junk mail 189 K Kazakhstan 6 Kearney, Melissa 79–80 Kennedy, John F. 12 Kenya democracy 40 mobile-money systems 176 Kiribati 7 Kleven, Henrik 135–6 knots 9–10 Kohler, Timothy 121 Kyrgyzstan 6 L laces 9–10 Lagos 199 Landais, Camille 135–6 languages and computers 225–6 gender-inclusive 229–30 letter names 217–18 and national identity 223–4 Papua New Guinea 219–20 Serbo-Croatian 221–2 Unicode 215 World Bank writing style 227–8 Latimer, Hugh 246 Leeson, Peter 26 leisure board games in Nigeria 199–200 chess 205–6 gambling 209–10 video games and unemployment 169–70 see also festivals; holidays lemons 95–6 letter names 217–18 Libya 31 life expectancy 125–6 Lincoln, Abraham 242 lithium 17–18 London 71, 72 longevity 125–6 Lozère 161–2 Lucas, George 208 M McEnroe, John 197 McGregor, Andrew 204 machine learning 225–6 Macri, Mauricio 95, 96 Macron, Emmanuel 143 Madagascar 158 Madison, James 242 MagicLeap 182 Maine 216 Malaysia 56 Maldives 7 Mali 31 Malta 65 Manchester United 211–12 manufacturing jobs 131–2 robots 171–2 summer holidays 239 Maori 34–5 marriage child marriage 84–5 polygamy 5–6 same-sex relationships 73–4 see also couples Marteau, Theresa 101–2 Marx, Karl 123 Maryland 85 Massachusetts child marriage 85 Christmas 246 Matfess, Hilary 5, 15 meat dog meat 91–2 packaging 103–4 mega-rich 53 men career and family 77–8 housework 75–6 job tenure 129–30 life expectancy 125 polygamy 5–6 sexual harassment by 67–9 video games and unemployment 169 Mexico avocados 89, 90 gay and lesbian rights 73 murder rate 44, 45 microbreweries 97–8 Microsoft HoloLens 181–2 undersea cables 193 migration, and birth rates 81–3 mining diamonds 13–14 sand 7–8 mobile phones Africa 175–6 5G 173–4 Mocan, Naci 56–7 Mongolia 42–3 Mongrel Mob 34 Monopoly (board game) 199, 200 Monty Python and the Holy Grail 25 Moore, Clement Clarke 247 Moretti, Franco 228 Morocco 7 Moscato, Philippe 36 movies 207–8 Mozambique 73 murder rates 44–6 music, Christmas 243–5 Musk, Elon 168 Myanmar 118 N Nadal, Rafael 197 national identity 223–4 natural gas 124 Netherlands gender 66 national identity 223–4 neurostimulators 167 New Jersey 85 New Mexico 157–8 New York (state), child marriage 85 New York City drink-driving 179–80 food trucks 99–100 New Zealand avocados 89 gang members 34–5 gene drives 154 water pollution 149–50 new-year resolutions 233–4 Neymar 203, 204 Nigeria board games 199–200 Boko Haram 5, 15–16 population 54–5 Nissenbaum, Stephen 247 Northern Ireland 218 Norway Christmas music 243 inheritance tax 119 life expectancy 125, 126 sex reassignment 65 Nucci, Alessandra 36 O obesity 93–4 oceans see seas Odimegwu, Festus 54 O’Reilly, Oliver 9–10 Ortiz de Retez, Yñigo 32 Oster, Emily 25–6 ostriches 163, 164 ’Oumuamua 185–6 P packaging 103–4 Pakistan 5 Palombi, Francis 161 Papua New Guinea languages 219–20 name 32 Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) 203 Passover 237 pasta 31 pay, gender pay gap 115–16, 135–6 Peck, Jessica Lynn 179–80 Pennsylvania 85 Peru 90 Pestre, Dominique 228 Pew Research Centre 22 Phelps, Michael 163–4 Philippe, Édouard 230 phishing 189 Phoenix, Arizona 177 Pilgrims 241 plague 157–8 Plastic China 159 police, body cameras 191–2 pollution air pollution 143–4 water pollution 149–50 polygamy 5–6 pornography and Britain’s gay population 70–72 and Hawaii missile alert 63–4 Portugal 145 Puerto Rico 45 punctuation marks 229–30 Q Qatar 19 R ransomware 190 Ravenscroft, George 101 Real Madrid 211 religious observance and birth rates 81–2 and Christmas music 244 remastering 207–8 Reynolds, Andrew 70 Rhodes, Cecil 13 rice 109–10 rich high-net-worth individuals 53 US 113–14 ride-hailing apps and drink-driving 179–80 see also Uber RIWI 73–4 robotaxis 177–8 robots 171–2 Rogers, Dan 240 Romania birth rate 81 life expectancy 125 Romans 233 Romer, Paul 227–8 Ross, Hana 23 Royal United Services Institute 21 Russ, Jacob 26 Russia arms sales 20 beer consumption 105, 106 fertility rate 81 Rwanda 40 S Sahara 31 St Louis 205–6 St Patrick’s Day 235–6 salt, in seas 11–12 same-sex relationships 73–4 San Antonio 100 sand 7–8 sanitation 155–6 Saudi Arabia 19 Scotland, witch-hunting 25–6, 27 Scott, Keith Lamont 191 Scrabble (board game) 199 seas Arctic sea ice 147–8 salty 11–12 undersea cables 193–4 secularism, and birth rates 81–2 Seles, Monica 197 self-driving cars 177–8 Serbia 222 Serbo-Croatian 221–2 Sevilla, Almudena 75 sex reassignment 65–6 sexual harassment 67–9, 230 Sharapova, Maria 197 sharks deterring attacks 201–2 racing humans 163–4 shipping 148 shoelaces 9–10 Silk Road 117–18 Singapore dragon children 56 land reclamation 7, 8 rice consumption 110 single people, housework 75–6 Sinquefeld, Rex 205 smart glasses 181–2 Smith, Adam 127 smoking black market for cigarettes 23–4 efforts to curb 151–2 smuggling 31 Sogaard, Jakob 135–6 Somalia 40 Somaliland 40–41 South Africa childhood obesity 93 diamonds 13 gay and lesbian rights 73 murder rate 45, 46 South Korea arms sales 20 rice consumption 110 South Sudan failed state 40 polygamy 5 space elevators 183–4 spaghetti 31 Spain forests 145 gay and lesbian rights 73 job tenure 130 spam e-mail 189–90 sperm banks 61–2 sport football clubs 211–12 football transfers 203–4 grunting in tennis 197–8 Sri Lanka 118 Star Wars 208 sterilisation 65–6 Strasbourg 26 submarine cables 193–4 Sudan 40 suicide-bombers 15–16 summer holidays 239–40 Sutton Trust 22 Sweden Christmas music 243, 244 gay and lesbian rights 73 homophobia 70 inheritance tax 119 overpayment of taxes 51–2 sex reassignment 65 sexual harassment 67–8 Swinnen, Johan 106 Switzerland sex reassignment 65 witch-hunting 26, 27 T Taiwan dog meat 91 dragon children 56 Tamil Tigers 15 Tanzania 40 taxes death taxes 119–20 Sweden 51–2 taxis robotaxis 177–8 see also ride-hailing apps tennis players, grunting 197–8 terrorism 15–16 Texas 85 Thailand 110 Thanksgiving 241–2 think-tanks 21–2 Tianjin 143–4 toilets 155–6 Tok Pisin 219, 220 transgender people 65–6 Trump, Donald 223 Argentine lemons 95, 96 estate tax 119 and gender pay gap 115 and manufacturing jobs 131, 132 Tsiolkovsky, Konstantin 183 Turkey 151 turkeys 33 Turkmenistan 6 U Uber 128 and drink-driving 179–80 Uganda 40 Ulaanbaatar 42–3 Uljarevic, Daliborka 221 undersea cables 193–4 unemployment 169–70 Unicode 215–16 United Arab Emirates and Somaliland 41 weapons purchases 19 United Kingdom see Britain United States and Argentine lemons 95–6 arms sales 19 beer consumption 105 chess 205–6 child marriage 84–5 Christmas 246–7 Christmas music 243, 244 drink-driving 179–80 drones 187–8 end of life care 141–2 estate tax 119 fertility rates 79–80 food trucks 99–100 forests 145 gay and lesbian rights 73 getting rich 113–14 Hawaiian porn consumption 63–4 job tenure 129–30 letter names 218 lithium 17 manufacturing jobs 131–2 murder rate 45, 46 national identity 223–4 new-year resolutions 234 plague 157–8 police body cameras 191–2 polygamy 6 robotaxis 177 robots 171–2 St Patrick’s Day 235–6 sexual harassment 67, 68 sperm banks 61–2 Thanksgiving 241–2 video games and unemployment 169–70 wealth inequality 121 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) see drones V video games 169–70 Vietnam weapons purchases 19 wheat consumption 110 Virginia 85 virtual reality (VR) 181, 182 Visit from St Nicholas, A (Moore) 247 W Wang Yi 117 Warner, Jason 15 wars 5 Washington, George 242 Washington DC, food trucks 99 waste 159–60 water pollution 149–50 wealth getting rich in America 113–14 high-net-worth individuals 53 inequality 120, 121–2 weather, and Christmas music 243–5 Weinstein, Harvey 67, 69 Weryk, Rob 185 wheat consumption 109–10 genome 107–8 Wilson, Riley 79–80 wine glasses 101–2 Winslow, Edward 241 wireless technology 173–4 witch-hunting 25–7 wolves 161–2 women birth rates 79–80, 81–3 bride price 5 career and family 77–8 child marriage 84–5 housework 75–6 job tenure 129–30 life expectancy 125 pay gap 115–16 sexual harassment of 67–9 suicide-bombers 15–16 World Bank 227–8 World Health Organisation (WHO) and smoking 151–2 transsexualism 65 X Xi Jinping 117–18 Y young people crime 47–8 job tenure 129–30 video games and unemployment 169–70 Yu, Han 56–7 Yulin 91 yurts 42–3 Z Zubelli, Rita 239

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: 261 words: 81,802

The Trouble With Billionaires by Linda McQuaig

"Robert Solow", 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, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, laissez-faire capitalism, land tenure, lateral thinking, 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: 419 words: 119,476

Posh Boys: How English Public Schools Ruin Britain by Robert Verkaik

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Alistair Cooke, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, Brixton riot, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Etonian, G4S, gender pay gap, God and Mammon, income inequality, Khartoum Gordon, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Livingstone, I presume, loadsamoney, mega-rich, Neil Kinnock, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, school vouchers, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, trade route, traveling salesman, unpaid internship

School fees jumped by 3.5 per cent between 2016 and 2017, outstripping increases in wages and prices, although this was the lowest rise since 1994.7 It is now estimated that the average cost of educating a child from nursery to Year 13 (upper sixth) is £286,000 per child for a day school and £550,000 for a boarder.8 For a child at a top public school like Eton or Harrow, families could end up paying £600,000 per child. The public schools are now coming under increasing pressure from politicians, education reformers and the Charity Commission to take action to address the deficit between the education of the mega-rich and the subsidised schooling of poorer students. For years the schools had been saying that the free scholars attending public school are children whose families are the poorest of the poor. So how many of the 5,742 free pupils come from genuinely socially disadvantaged backgrounds? Or to put it another way: how many of them qualify for a free school meal? The ISC told me: ‘We do not know how many of these pupils qualify for a free school meal as we do not collect any information regarding free school meals and schools have different methods of means testing.’9 Families with assets and a good accountant can play the system by demonstrating to the school that they meet the income criteria for bursaries, even if they are living in a multi-million-pound home and run a number of tax-efficient businesses.

A further tract of real estate has been bought up by foreign families using investment vehicles to take major stakes in the heart of the capital. Many of these families have made their fortunes in the chaotic liberalisations of the economies of the former Soviet Union and China and have chosen to base their lives in Britain. A key strategy in retaining and spreading their Western wealth is buying public school educations for their children. In turn, the public schools are committed to guarding the privacy of these mega-rich families who use them to assimilate into the British elite. There is another cost to the country. The education and elevation of a narrow group of people who come from boarding schools based in the south of England and focused on London, Oxford and Cambridge only exacerbates Britain’s economic north–south divide. It perpetuates a mindset that puts the south and London at the centre of national affairs and treats the rest of the country as an economically irrelevant backwater.

mhq5j=e3; 51 11 Boys’ Own Brexit 1 Stuart Jeffries, The Guardian, 26 May 2014. 2 3 4 5 Michael Crick, Channel 4 News, 19 September 2013. 6 7 8 Interview with the author at Dulwich College, 12 January 2018. 9, accessed 24 January 2018. 10; 11 Simon Kupar, Financial Times, 7 July 2016. 12; 13 Odey declined to be interviewed. 14 Sunday Times, 23 April 2017, p. 4; 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 A Very British Coup, BBC2, 22 Sepptember 2016. 22 23 24 25 Tim Shipman, All Out War: Brexit and the Sinking of Britain’s Political Class (London: William Collins, 2017), p. 610. 12 For the Few, Not the Many 1 2 3 Rosa Prince, Comrade Corbyn: A Very Unlikely Coup (London: Biteback Publishing, 2017), p. 29.

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, Nelson Mandela, 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: 403 words: 105,431

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

David Brooks, desegregation, hiring and firing, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, longitudinal study, 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: 317 words: 71,776

Inequality and the 1% by Danny Dorling

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, buy and hold, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, David Attenborough, David Graeber, delayed gratification, Dominic Cummings, double helix, Downton Abbey,, Etonian, family office, financial deregulation, full employment, Gini coefficient, high net worth, housing crisis, income inequality, land value tax, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, lump of labour, mega-rich, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, TaskRabbit, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics, unpaid internship, very high income, We are the 99%, wealth creators, working poor

Most importantly, only 14 per cent agreed that the gap was ‘about right’.5 Only one in seven people thought the rich deserved to be so rich, and most of that minority appeared to have little appreciation of just how much better off the 1 per cent were, even when compared to those just below them.6 In the UK, dwindling numbers believe the rich generate wealth which all the rest of us get to share, but among them are some prominent people who use their position to promote this belief. There are many multi-millionaires who financially support right-wing think tanks to argue on their behalf. An even smaller, richer group with great influence are the mega-rich owners of newspapers and television channels, but they all now face growing opposition. Alan Denney Occupy London, 2011 Around the world, a majority of the global protests that have occurred since January 2006 have centred on issues of economic justice. In 2006 there were just 59 large protests recorded worldwide. In just the first half of 2013 there were 112 protests of a similar size.

Elitist views and behaviour are now seeping into the mainstream, so that even the poor are heard to call for lower taxes. That is how deep the confusion goes. A 2011 study of eighteen OECD countries found that the optimal top tax rate for the marginal earnings of the very rich might be over 80 per cent. With that, a country could increase productivity (which could be green productivity), while ‘no one but the mega rich would lose out’.30 The authors of the study show top tax rates to have fallen since the 1970s, and the income share of the richest 1 per cent to have grown in almost perfect correlation (see Figure 6.4). Source: Figure 4 in: Alvaredo, Atkinson, Piketty and Saez (2013) ‘The Top 1 Percent in International and Historical Perspective’, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 27: 3 (Summer 2013), pp. 3–20 Figure 6.4 The effect of top tax rates on pre-tax incomes of the top 1 per cent since 1960 Countries that have not reduced top income tax rates since the 1960s have also prevented their elites from taking too much.

pages: 232 words: 76,830

Dreams of Leaving and Remaining by James Meek

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, bank run, Boris Johnson, centre right, Corn Laws, corporate governance, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Etonian, full employment, global supply chain, illegal immigration, Jeff Bezos, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, Neil Kinnock, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, working-age population

The US president Donald Trump, also promoting a tax cut plan: Earlier this week, I visited the hardworking citizens of North Dakota to promote our vision for tax cuts and tax reform that will create opportunity and prosperity for millions and millions of Americans. As President, I am committed to pursuing an economic policy that lifts up all of our citizens, provides hope for all of our communities, and generates wealth for everyday hardworking people and it’s about time. In the end, whatever crumbs the eventual Trump tax bill offers low-earners, the great beneficiaries are the mega-rich: in year one, the poorest Americans paid about sixty bucks less in taxes, while the richest 0.1 per cent got an average incomes gain, after tax, of almost $200,000. That’s the way the ‘hardworking people’ shtick operates. You can be a hedge fund manager with a ten-figure salary. You can be a near full-time partygoer who dabbles in property development, living off the money your great-grandparents made.

Piketty’s work came as a shock because he showed that the mid-twentieth century, when the average person could and often did become better off faster than those who lived off the return on their capital, was not some new normal, as many thought, but an aberration, and that, since then, we’ve reverted to the mean. The detail of Piketty’s work, however, is less palatable for a left-liberal movement trying to operate on the single country level. The subtlety of his position is that he separates the issue of inequality from the practicalities of trying to run a modern state. For Piketty, taxing the mega-rich isn’t a means to plug holes in a country’s annual budget, but a means to prevent the extreme concentration of wealth in a very few hands, or, as he puts it, the ‘fiscal secession of the wealthiest citizens’. A high marginal tax rate on extremely large incomes is a good thing, he argues, but brings almost nothing into the state’s coffers. Piketty writes with uncommon urgency about tax: ‘Without taxes,’ he says, ‘society has no common destiny, and collective action is impossible.’

pages: 358 words: 104,664

Capital Without Borders by Brooke Harrington

banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, diversified portfolio, estate planning, eurozone crisis, family office, financial innovation, ghettoisation, haute couture, high net worth, income inequality, information asymmetry, Joan Didion, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, liberal capitalism, mega-rich, mobile money, offshore financial centre, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, South Sea Bubble, the market place, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, wealth creators, web of trust, Westphalian system, Wolfgang Streeck, zero-sum game

Snejana Farberov, “Dallas Billionaire Who Used to own Michaels Arts and Crafts Chain Files for Bankruptcy One Year after $400M Judgment in SEC Fraud Case,” Daily Mail, October 20, 2014. 96. Jonathan Kandell, “Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza, Industrialist Who Built Fabled Art Collection, Dies at 81,” New York Times, April 28, 2002. 97. Marc Weber, “The New Swiss Law on Cultural Property,” International Journal of Cultural Property 13 (2006): 99–113. 98. Mar Cabra and Michael Hudson, “Mega-rich Use Tax Havens to Buy and Sell Masterpieces,” International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, April 3, 2013, 99. George Marcus, “The Fiduciary Role in American Family Dynasties and Their Institutional Legacy,” in George Marcus, ed., Elites: Ethnographic Issues, 221–256 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1983), 222. 100. Ibid. 101. See, for example, the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, which has certified more than 5,000 practitioners in the United States and Canada, according to its website, 102.

pages: 367 words: 108,689

Broke: How to Survive the Middle Class Crisis by David Boyle

anti-communist, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, Desert Island Discs, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial independence, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, housing crisis, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, mortgage debt, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, new economy, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, off grid, offshore financial centre, pension reform, pensions crisis, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Ponzi scheme, positional goods, precariat, quantitative easing, school choice, Slavoj Žižek, social intelligence, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Vanguard fund, Walter Mischel, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, working poor

The middle classes can afford to rent or buy, but their professional room for manoeuvre is seriously limited, and the enterprises, the local papers, local banks, local food distributors and local shops, which gave previous middle-class generations an economic underpinning, have gone. In the south, it is the other way around. There is work, but it struggles to pay enough to buy or rent because the housing market is increasingly geared to the needs of foreign investors and the mega-rich. And here we get to the nitty-gritty. Because, behind all the headlines and soundbites, it is increasingly difficult even for middle-income earners in mainstream work, including ever larger chunks of the middle classes, to get by without support from the government in the form of Help to Buy, or housing benefit or council tax rebates or tax credits or all the rest of the state’s generosity to its middle-income earners.

It has had only three owners since it was first bought for £700 in 1937. At average rates of inflation, it should now be worth around £45,000. And according to the Prime Minister, this is not a bubble. So why is middle-class life — and not just housing — becoming unaffordable? As this book sets out, it is partly because of the rise of the monopolies, partly because the economy is geared increasingly to the needs of the mega-rich (see Chapter 5). It is partly because of the economic doctrine of ‘comparative advantage’ — a sensible economic concept pushed to ridiculous lengths — which has allowed the regional enterprises of the UK to atrophy and die (see Chapter 7). It is also because the upper tier is now so much richer that the economy can appear to get by just by serving their needs. That is what happens in an economy which is increasingly like the American one, where 95 per cent of the increases in wealth between 2009 and 2012 went to the top 1 per cent, whose incomes increased by 31 per cent.

pages: 349 words: 114,038

Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens

4chan, airport security, AltaVista, 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, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, 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 Stallman, Ross Ulbricht, 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, twin studies, 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

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, low earth orbit, 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: 677 words: 121,255

Giving the Devil His Due: Reflections of a Scientific Humanist by Michael Shermer

Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, anti-communist, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Boycotts of Israel, Chelsea Manning, clean water, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, creative destruction, dark matter, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Flynn Effect, germ theory of disease, gun show loophole, Hans Rosling, hedonic treadmill, helicopter parent, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, Johannes Kepler, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, Laplace demon, luminiferous ether, McMansion, means of production, mega-rich, Menlo Park, moral hazard, moral panic, More Guns, Less Crime, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, positional goods, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, WikiLeaks, working poor, Yogi Berra

All are poorer because of it (except for suit designers, manufacturers, and retailers). Ever-increasing height in the heels of women’s shoes is another example of a fashion arms race in which everyone would be better off in flats. Once a few start to inch up their heels, the fashion trend takes off, forcing those who would not otherwise do so to engage in an Achilles-tightening arms race. Coming-of-age parties suffer the same positional rank fate. When the mega rich produce a festival fit for a king for their sixteen-year old queen, the next economic tier down must up the catering bill to satisfy teenage wants that have been artificially adjusted upward. Money that should be spent on, say, food, clothes, health care, future college tuition, or mortgage payments, is being wasted on frivolous ceremonial one-upmanship. The Hidden Costs of Market Failures and Moral Hazards Moving from examples to analysis, Frank employs a technical model developed by the economist Ronald Coase that shows precisely how economists can take into account such transaction costs in order to better understand macroeconomic phenomena and correct for market failures.

The problem with this argument is threefold: (1) Taxing the rich will do next to nothing for our debt crisis, (2) taxing the rich won’t make the poor any happier, and (3) positional ranking exists for a range of traits, not just for wealth. 1. Taxing away the debt crisis.If, say, we followed Warren Buffett’s proposal for taxing the “super rich” who make between $1 million and $10 million a year at an effective rate of 50 percent, according to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation using figures from the IRS, this would reduce the national debt by a grand total of 1 percent. What about the “mega rich,” those making more than $10 million a year? If we taxed them at 100 percent – that is, we confiscated every last dollar made by every person in the country at this level, the national debt would be reduced by only 2 percent. Taxing the rich will not solve our debt crisis.21 2. Taxing away unhappiness.In what way, exactly, will redistributing money from the rich to the poor increase the latter’s happiness or decrease their unhappiness?

pages: 505 words: 133,661

Who Owns England?: How We Lost Our Green and Pleasant Land, and How to Take It Back by Guy Shrubsole

back-to-the-land, Beeching cuts, Boris Johnson, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, congestion charging, deindustrialization, digital map, do-ocracy, Downton Abbey, financial deregulation, fixed income, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Earth, housing crisis, James Dyson, Kickstarter, land reform, land tenure, land value tax, linked data, loadsamoney, mega-rich, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, openstreetmap, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, rent-seeking, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, sceptred isle, Stewart Brand, the built environment, the map is not the territory, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics, urban sprawl, web of trust, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

successive influxes Luke Harding, A Very Expensive Poison: The Definitive Story of the Murder of Litvinenko and Russia’s War with the West (Guardian Faber Publishing, 2016). occasional bus tours­/01/20/kleptocracy­-tours­/ still owns a property Luke Harding, ‘Mega-rich homes tour puts spotlight on London’s oligarchs’, Guardian, 4 February 2016. a US sanctions list Lauren Gambino, ‘Trump administration hits 24 Russians with sanctions over “malign activity”’, Guardian, April 2018. A family friend Harding, ‘Mega-rich homes tour puts spotlight on London’s oligarchs’. Athlone House Thomas Burrows, ‘Ukrainian billionaire oligarch gets the go-ahead to turn derelict mansion into one of London’s finest private homes complete with cigar room, gym and yoga room and worth £130 million’, Daily Mail, 14 September 2016.

pages: 471 words: 127,852

Londongrad: From Russia With Cash; The Inside Story of the Oligarchs by Mark Hollingsworth, Stewart Lansley

Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Geldof, business intelligence, corporate governance, corporate raider, credit crunch, crony capitalism, Donald Trump, energy security, Etonian, F. W. de Klerk, income inequality, kremlinology, mass immigration, mega-rich, Mikhail Gorbachev, offshore financial centre, paper trading, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Sloane Ranger

Both Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Politics describe rule by an elite rather than by the democratic will of the people. Historically, ‘oligarch’ was a word used to describe active opponents of Athenian democracy during the fifth century bc, when Greece was ruled on several occasions by brutal oligarch regimes that butchered their democratic opponents. Like their ancient Greek counterparts, few of the modern Russian oligarchs became mega-rich by creating new wealth but rather by insider political intrigue and by exploiting the weakness of the rule of law. Driven by a lust for money and power, they secured much of the country’s natural and historic wealth through the manipulation of the post-Soviet-era process of privatization. When Boris Yeltsin succeeded Mikhail Gorbachev as President in 1991, Russia had reached another precarious stage in its complex history.

Usmanov was just one of the oligarchs currying favour with Putin. One by one they started buying up art that had been lost to Russia and investing in Putin’s favourite social projects, all designed to counter criticism that the oligarchs enriched themselves and exported their wealth abroad without giving anything back. Buying the world’s rarest and most expensive paintings has always been a privilege open only to the mega-rich. Once you have the mansion, the diamonds, the jet, and the yacht, making a statement requires moving on to possessions that not only inspire envy but are both unique and precious. As Joseph Backstein put it, ‘It’s the logic of consumption. What is a rich Russian? It means you must have an apartment in Moscow, a Bentley, a dacha on Rublyovka, a house in London, a villa in Sardinia, and a yacht.

pages: 184 words: 53,625

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

Airbus A320, airport security, algorithmic trading, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, Charles Lindbergh, 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, Joi Ito, 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: 198 words: 53,264

Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and Their Worst Investments by Michael Batnick

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, buy and hold, buy low sell high, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, endowment effect, financial innovation, fixed income, hindsight bias, index fund, invention of the wheel, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, Kickstarter, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, Myron Scholes, Paul Samuelson, quantitative easing, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Snapchat, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, stocks for the long run, transcontinental railway, value at risk, Vanguard fund, Y Combinator

No matter how many times Twain told himself that he was done with Paige and his excuses, he just couldn't look in the mirror and admit he was wrong. Imagine pouring everything you have, financially, mentally, and emotionally, into an investment and admitting defeat. It is excruciating. Few things are harder to do in life and especially in investing than to admit you were wrong. With the help of a friend, Henry “Hell Hound” Rogers, a mega‐rich partner in John Rockefeller's Standard Oil, they took control of the typesetter business from Paige. On life support, Clemens went to look for new investors and found two in Bram Stoker, who would later go on to write Dracula, and the famous actor Henry Irving.12 When the typesetter failed at the Chicago Herald, there would be no more chances. Henry Rogers was a serious businessman and, unlike Twain, had no problem cutting his losses.

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

banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, business cycle, 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: 238 words: 73,121

Does Capitalism Have a Future? by Immanuel Wallerstein, Randall Collins, Michael Mann, Georgi Derluguian, Craig Calhoun, Stephen Hoye, Audible Studios

affirmative action, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, butterfly effect, creative destruction, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, distributed generation, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, full employment, Gini coefficient, global village, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Isaac Newton, job automation, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, land tenure, liberal capitalism, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, loose coupling, low skilled workers, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, means of production, mega-rich, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, Ponzi scheme, postindustrial economy, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, too big to fail, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks

Pyramided levels of monies illustrate Viviana Zelizer’s [1994] theory that money is not homogeneous but plural, diverse sets of specific currencies circulating within their own social networks. Those who play in the circuit of hedge funds, for instance, are a very restricted group of persons and organizations; small players are not even legally allowed into these markets. Perhaps this is beside the point; in the idyllic financial utopia of the future, core investors will become mega-rich, but smaller investors will get their share. Will this be enough to sustain consumer spending throughout the entire economy and thus keep the machinery of capitalism going? Not if financial markets tend toward ever-greater concentration, exploiting the smaller participants at the bottom. For the second possibility: technological displacement can be expected to make inroads into employment in the financial sector.

pages: 240 words: 74,182

This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality by Peter Pomerantsev

"side hustle", 4chan, active measures, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, call centre, citizen journalism, desegregation, Donald Trump, Etonian, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, illegal immigration, mass immigration, mega-rich, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Skype, South China Sea

‘The withdrawal of Soviet power, or the Tsimtsum of Communism, created the infinite space of signs emptied of sense: the world became devoid of meaning.’43 In 2001, after university, I followed Lina’s trail, moving to Russia to eventually work in television. ‘Moscow’, I would write later, ‘seemed a city living in fast-forward, changing so fast it breaks all sense of reality. Russia had seen so many worlds flick through in such rapid 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.’ Notes 1 PolitiFact, ‘Donald Trump’s File’, (accessed 20 July 2016); PolitiFact, ‘Hillary Clinton’s File’, (accessed 20 July 2016). 2 BBC Breadth of Opinion Review; 3 BBC News, ‘Kremlin’s Chief Propagandist Accuses Western Media of Bias’, 23 June 2016; 4 Yaffa, Joshua, ‘Dmitry Kiselev Is Redefining the Art of Russian Propaganda’, New Republic, 1 July 2014; 5 Balmforth, Tom, ‘Gene Warfare?

pages: 207 words: 86,639

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

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,, 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, Kickstarter, 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.

pages: 301 words: 88,082

The Great Tax Robbery: How Britain Became a Tax Haven for Fat Cats and Big Business by Richard Brooks

accounting loophole / creative accounting, bank run, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, crony capitalism, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, financial deregulation, haute couture, intangible asset, interest rate swap, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, mega-rich, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, race to the bottom, shareholder value, short selling, supply-chain management, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transfer pricing

Other studies have looked at trends in effective corporation tax rates for Britain’s largest companies and found them to be around 5% below their officially declared rates, much of which is attributable to structures adopted for tax purposes.‌37 ‌ ‌Figure 1 • UK corporate profits and corporation tax (1991-2011)‌‌‌36 This pervasive, expanding tax avoidance does more than just short-change government finances. Available almost exclusively to wealthy companies and individuals, it widens inequality. It also distorts the democratic process. A mega-rich ‘non-dom’ lured to the UK with the promise of keeping his offshore fortunes tax free as a favour from the government is disproportionately likely to become a major donor to a political party with privileged access to some powerful people and influence in matters beyond taxation. Most famously of all, the benefits of non-dom status have helped Lord (Michael) Ashcroft to make huge donations to the Conservative Party and become close to its leading figures, notably William Hague.

pages: 347 words: 94,701

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

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: 334 words: 98,950

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

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brownian motion, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round,, 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, Kickstarter, land reform, liberal world order, liberation theology, low skilled workers, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, mega-rich, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, 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

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, lateral thinking, 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, social intelligence, 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: 99,317

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

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, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round,, 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, Kickstarter, land reform, liberal world order, liberation theology, low skilled workers, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, mega-rich, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, 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: 304 words: 99,836

Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story by Greg Smith

always be closing, asset allocation, Black Swan, bonus culture, break the buck, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delayed gratification, East Village, fixed income, Flash crash, glass ceiling, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, information asymmetry, London Interbank Offered Rate, mega-rich, money market fund, new economy, Nick Leeson, quantitative hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies, short selling, Silicon Valley, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Stanford marshmallow experiment, statistical model, technology bubble, too big to fail

Hedge fund: An investment fund that can undertake a wide range of strategies, including using leverage and derivatives, both going long (buying) and getting short (selling, without actually owning the asset). Because hedge funds are not highly regulated, they are only open to very large investors, such as pension funds, university endowments, and high-net-worth individuals. High-net-worth individuals: A polite term for people who are mega-rich or loaded. Hit a bid: To sell something at the price the market maker is willing to pay for it (i.e., the bid price). Hit the tape: Complete the trade; or the announcement of some news. It originates from the ticker tape that was used to transmit stock price information from 1870. Wall Streeters use this term all the time: “My new kid hit the tape” (i.e., we had a new baby). “Ben and Kelly are dating?

pages: 372 words: 107,587

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

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, banks create money, Bretton Woods, business cycle, 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,, 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, 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, WikiLeaks, 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: 345 words: 104,404

Pandora's Brain by Calum Chace

AI winter, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, brain emulation, Extropian, friendly AI, hive mind, lateral thinking, 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

banking crisis, blood diamonds, credit crunch, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Snowden, family office, high net worth, income inequality, Kickstarter, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, mega-rich, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, Nelson Mandela, 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: 374 words: 111,284

The AI Economy: Work, Wealth and Welfare in the Robot Age by Roger Bootle

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, anti-work, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, computer age, conceptual framework, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, deskilling, Elon Musk,, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, facts on the ground, financial intermediation, full employment, future of work, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mega-rich, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, positional goods, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, social intelligence, spinning jenny, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, universal basic income, US Airways Flight 1549, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, wealth creators, winner-take-all economy, Y2K, Yogi Berra

But, as we have just discussed, even in the West there are serious threats to individual freedom and rights to privacy, even from within the private sector. Moreover, the creators of the great digital-era companies that dominate the modern world – Amazon, Google, Apple, and so on – are decidedly of a kind: the Western ones are all American, white, and male. Typically, although the founders have become mega-rich by selling stakes in what they have created, they retain control. The 2012 presidential campaign by Barack Obama used machine learning and big data. As a result, the campaign was “highly successful in not only mobilizing, but also convincing voters to give Obama their support.”37 Then, during the 2016 US presidential election, the firm Cambridge Analytica used big data and machine learning to send voters different messages based on predictions about their susceptibility to different arguments.38 Another issue that has emerged recently is the use of fake news to influence election campaigns, arguably preventing a “fair” election.

pages: 474 words: 120,801

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

additive manufacturing, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, business cycle, 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, disruptive innovation, 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: 349 words: 134,041

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

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 and hold, 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

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, 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: 14. Media mogul John Kluge: Information on the mansions in this section comes mostly from 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,”—?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,”, Apr. 2000. 19. In 2007 the online real-estate Web site Jeffrey M.

pages: 444 words: 151,136

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

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, business cycle, 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,, 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, Kickstarter, 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, stocks for the long run, 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.

pages: 598 words: 172,137

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 cycle, 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 airline, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, mega-rich, MITM: man-in-the-middle, 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: 618 words: 159,672

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

call centre, Donald Trump, glass ceiling, haute couture, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, low cost airline, Mason jar, mega-rich, Murano, Venice glass, starchitect, 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: 741 words: 179,454

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

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, business cycle, 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,, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Everybody Ought to Be Rich, 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, Jones Act, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, 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, NetJets, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson,, 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 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: 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, global pandemic, 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 Rise and Fall of American Growth, 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.

The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America by Margaret O'Mara

"side hustle", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business climate, Byte Shop, California gold rush, carried interest, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer age, continuous integration, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deindustrialization, different worldview, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Elon Musk,, Erik Brynjolfsson, Frank Gehry, George Gilder, gig economy, Googley, Hacker Ethic, high net worth, Hush-A-Phone, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, means of production, mega-rich, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Paul Terrell, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel,, pirate software, popular electronics, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, social graph, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, the market place, the new new thing, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, transcontinental railway, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile, Vannevar Bush, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Y Combinator, Y2K

To help the economy recover from the housing bust and deep recession of 2008, the Federal Reserve had kept interest rates low, pumping liquidity into the market and leaving the monied classes looking for high-yield places to put their cash. The abundance and variety of investment capital—private equity, hedge funds, angels—lessened the need for IPOs in a company’s early stages and increased SEC scrutiny of public companies further dampened start-ups’ enthusiasm for a Wall Street offering. Overseas investment by the world’s new mega-rich became another growing source of capital, particularly useful in the shaky days after the 2008 market crash. A cash-hungry Facebook entered into a lucrative deal in May 2009 with Russian financier Yuri Milner, a billionaire with close Kremlin ties; Milner ultimately ended up holding close to 9 percent of the company. “A number of firms approached us,” Mark Zuckerberg said at the time, “but [Milner’s] stood out because of the global perspective they bring.”

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, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, 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: 1,073 words: 302,361

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

asset-backed security, Bernie Madoff, business cycle, buttonwood tree, buy and hold, 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.

pages: 1,213 words: 376,284

Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, From the Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-First by Frank Trentmann

Airbnb, Anton Chekhov, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, car-free, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, cross-subsidies, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, equity premium, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial exclusion, fixed income, food miles, full employment, germ theory of disease, global village, haute cuisine, high net worth, income inequality, index card, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, James Watt: steam engine, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, labour mobility, libertarian paternalism, Livingstone, I presume, longitudinal study, mass immigration, McMansion, mega-rich, moral panic, mortgage debt, Murano, Venice glass, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, post-industrial society, post-materialism, postnationalism / post nation state, profit motive, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, rent control, Richard Thaler, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, stakhanovite, the built environment, the market place, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional, zero-sum game

The spectacular rise in millionaires and billionaires at the top has been the other. In the United States, the number of millionaires doubled between 1995 and 2005. By the early twenty-first century, the richest 10 per cent in Anglo-Saxon countries controlled 30–43 per cent of income, a concentration not seen since the 1930s.94 Inequality is most pronounced at the very top. The super-rich turned into the mega-rich. Between 1995 and 2007, the four richest people in America more than doubled their wealth to over $1 trillion. The precise causes behind this new era of inequality are a matter of debate – technological change, the rise in single-person households, poorly paid and insecure part-time jobs and less effective tax redistribution are the prime candidates. A large literature shows that inequality is bad for well-being, mental health, civic life and tolerance.95 What interests us here is whether it is also responsible for over-consumption.

Great Britain by David Else, Fionn Davenport

active transport: walking or cycling, Albert Einstein, Beeching cuts, Boris Johnson, 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, Kickstarter, 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, 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.