Thursday, October 13, 2011

so, what about greed, inequality and happiness?

the sword of damocles?
On the 13th of April 2010, the Dalai Lama tweeted:
Economic inequality, especially that between developed and developing nations, remains the greatest source of suffering on this planet.

In early 2011, the authoritative Economist magazine and the WEF in Davos, both perceived global inequality as a major global problem. (Although the Economist proposed a quick-fix: increase social mobility).

The complex causes and possible remedies can perhaps be debated endlessly, but what is clear are the empirical facts. Income and wealth are distributed according to a very specific probability distribution, called scaling law, power law, fat tailed distribution or 80-20 rule. To put it pithily: nearly all have very little and very few have very much. This was already observed by V. Pareto 1906 in and still holds today.

For scientists, the emergence of scaling law distributions is nothing uncommon (although there is no conclusive understanding of their origins). In fact, a huge range of natural phenomena display scaling laws: from physics, biology, earth and planetary sciences, computer and network sciences, demography and social sciences to linguistics. It seems, that every complex system in nature, i.e., systems comprised of many interacting or interconnected parts, is associated with scaling law distributions. So we shouldn't take economic inequality too personal, but understand it as a systemic "feature".

What if income or wealth would be distributed according to a normal distribution (also called Gaussian distribution or Bell curve)? Like the height of people or IQ? We would see most incomes or wealth scattered around a global average, while few are very poor and very rich. In contrast, if height would be distributed like a scaling law, things would look like this graph: most people would be 6'7'' or smaller, while very few are in fact larger than hundreds of feet:
Taken from the Height of Inequality (the numbers are said to be from 1971, so this should be an underestimation of the current situation). More in the Economist about this as well.

OK, you get the idea, so lets look at...


Some Numbers

David Tepper, at Appaloosa Management, personally earned an estimated US$4 billion in 2009.

On the other side, we have an estimated 5.15 billion people, or roughly 80% of the world's population, living on US$10.00 a day or less in 2005.

Or in 2002, an estimated 17% of the world population lived on US$1 or less per day. Visualize this: territory size shows the proportion of all people living on less than or equal to US$1 in purchasing power parity a day.

From worldmapper.org (check out there many maps visualizing various statistics).

For the poor, there is another pressing issue, compounding the problem: the poorest 2 billion people spend 50%-70% of their income on food.

The fact that inequity is described by scaling law distributions also means that it has fractal properties: you can zoom in and still find the same kind of inequality at all scales.
The wealth share estimates reveal that the richest 2 per cent of adult individuals own more than half of all global wealth, with the richest 1 per cent alone accounting for 40 per cent of global assets. The corresponding figures for the top 5 per cent and the top 10 per cent are 71 per cent and 85 per cent, respectively. In contrast, the bottom half of wealth holders together hold barely 1 per cent of global wealth. Members of the top decile are almost 400 times richer, on average, than the bottom 50 per cent, and members of the top percentile are almost 2,000 times richer.

According to the latest Global Wealth Report from Credit Suisse, the people with a household net worth of $1 million or more represent less than 1% of the world’s population but own 38.5% of the world’s wealth: about $89 trillion. That’s up from a share of 35.6% in 2010. Their wealth increased by about $20 trillion last year. In fact, the wealth of millionaires and billionaires grew 29% last year. From the Wall Street Journal's blog.

The Economist notes in the article The 99 percent:
A report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) points out that income inequality in America has not risen dramatically over the past 20 years—when the top 1% of earners are excluded. With them, the picture is quite different.


In May 2011, Vanity Fair published an article written by Joseph Stiglitz, an economics Nobel Laureate, called Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%:

The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation’s income every year. In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent. Their lot in life has improved considerably. 
While the top 1 percent have seen their incomes rise 18 percent over the past decade, those in the middle have actually seen their incomes fall. For men with only high-school degrees, the decline has been precipitous—12 percent in the last quarter-century alone. All the growth in recent decades—and more—has gone to those at the top. 

Stiglitz goes on to note:
Economists long ago tried to justify the vast inequalities that seemed so troubling in the mid-19th century—inequalities that are but a pale shadow of what we are seeing in America today. The justification they came up with was called “marginal-productivity theory.” In a nutshell, this theory associated higher incomes with higher productivity and a greater contribution to society. It is a theory that has always been cherished by the rich. Evidence for its validity, however, remains thin.
Those who have contributed great positive innovations to our society, from the pioneers of genetic understanding to the pioneers of the Information Age, have received a pittance compared with those responsible for the financial innovations that brought our global economy to the brink of ruin.
First, growing inequality is the flip side of something else: shrinking opportunity.
The more divided a society becomes in terms of wealth, the more reluctant the wealthy become to spend money on common needs. The rich don’t need to rely on government for parks or education or medical care or personal security—they can buy all these things for themselves.
But one big part of the reason we have so much inequality is that the top 1 percent want it that way. The most obvious example involves tax policy. Lowering tax rates on capital gains, which is how the rich receive a large portion of their income, has given the wealthiest Americans close to a free ride.
America’s inequality distorts our society in every conceivable way. There is, for one thing, a well-documented lifestyle effect—people outside the top 1 percent increasingly live beyond their means. Trickle-down economics may be a chimera, but trickle-down behaviorism is very real

Analysis of economic networks have revealed that national power-structures are self-preserving: even in the face of corporate governance reforms and globalization, they do not break up. (B. Kogut and G. Walker, "The Small World of Germany and the Durability of National Networks", American Sociological Review, 2001; R. Corrado and M. Zollo, "Small worlds evolving: governance reforms, privatizations, and ownership networks in Italy", Industrial and Corporate Change, 2006)

Our recent analysis of ownership networks has shown:
  • In markets with many widely held corporations (mostly in Anglo-Saxon countries), the observed local distribution of ownership, meaning shareholder democracy, actually goes hand in hand with a global concentration of ownership (and control), only visible from the bird's-eye view given by the network perspective, where the ownership and control ends up in the same few hands.
and
  • About 750 top economic agents in the global ownership network of ~600k nodes potentially control 80% of the value (operating revenue) of the ~43k transnational corporations. 
  • Of these, the top 50 already have nearly 40%.
  • The tiny core of the network, comprised of ~1300 nodes, holds ~40% of the potential control.
  • There are about 150 top agents in the core, potentially controlling about 38%. 
See  the Backbone of complex networks of corporations: The flow of control and the Network of Global Corporate Control. Or watch a TEDx talk about it.

D. Braha from the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI), when interviewed about our network study by New Scientist, said:
The Occupy Wall Street claim that 1 per cent of people have most of the wealth reflects a logical phase of the self-organising economy.

(Personally, I feel the word "logical" is perhaps a bit too strong.) However, he "suspects they [the companies in the tiny core of the ownership network that have a disproportionately large amount of control] will compete in the market but act together on common interests. Resisting changes to the network structure may be one such common interest."


So, What About Greed Then?

Michael Lewis, the author of Liar's Poker, wrote:
Not for a moment did I suspect that the financial 1980s would last two full decades longer or that the difference in degree between Wall Street and ordinary life would swell into a difference in kind. I expected readers of the future to be outraged that back in 1986, the C.E.O. of Salomon Brothers, John Gutfreund, was paid $3.1 million; [...] What I didn’t expect was that any future reader would look on my experience and say, “How quaint.”

Especially recalling Mr. Tepper's 4 billion from above. Lewis goes on to describe his personal experience in the financial industry:
To this day, the willingness of a Wall Street investment bank to pay me hundreds of thousands of dollars to dispense investment advice to grownups remains a mystery to me. I was 24 years old, with no experience of, or particular interest in, guessing which stocks and bonds would rise and which would fall. 
I stumbled into a job at Salomon Brothers in 1985 and stumbled out much richer three years later, and even though I wrote a book about the experience, the whole thing still strikes me as preposterous—which is one of the reasons the money was so easy to walk away from. I figured the situation was unsustainable. Sooner rather than later, someone was going to identify me, along with a lot of people more or less like me, as a fraud. Sooner rather than later, there would come a Great Reckoning when Wall Street would wake up and hundreds if not thousands of young people like me, who had no business making huge bets with other people’s money, would be expelled from finance.
Again from here. Of course, this is all debatable, from his sincerity, to possible hidden agendas, to being biased by wanting to write a popular book.

However, these things definitely don't help:
Take the now-infamous example of the recently ousted Merrill Lynch chief John Thain, who not only splurged on his office decor [over $1 million] but also had the audacity to propose a $10 million bonus for himself. In recognition of what? A year's work in which the company continued to make bad business decisions, lost about 80 percent of its value, sold itself to Bank of America to stave off possible collapse and appears to have seriously damaged its buyer's franchise?
Bank of America ($45 billion in bailout money) sponsored a five-day "NFL experience" at the Super Bowl; Wells Fargo ($25 billion in bailout funds) was planning 12 nights in Las Vegas for select employees.
From You Can Cap The Pay, But The Greed Will Go On, Washington Post, February 8, 2009.

For Dow Kim, 2006 was a very good year. While his salary at Merrill Lynch was $350,000, his total compensation was 100 times that — $35 million.
The difference between the two amounts was his bonus, a rich reward for the robust earnings made by the traders he oversaw in Merrill’s mortgage business. [...]

But Merrill’s record earnings in 2006 — $7.5 billion — turned out to be a mirage. The company has since lost three times that amount, largely because the mortgage investments that supposedly had powered some of those profits plunged in value.

Unlike the earnings, however, the bonuses have not been reversed.
From On Wall Street, Bonuses, Not Profits, Were Real, New York Times, December 17, 2008.

Such practices are perhaps a reason why some people working in the finance industry turned away in disgust. Like Michel Lewis, or Geraint Anderson, a former investment banker, who wrote a book about his personal experiences, called City Boy: Beer and Loathing in the Square Mile. Some of the reviews:
  • London’s pernicious financial world reveals itself in all its ugliness.
  • As a primer to back-stabbing, bullying, drug-taking, gambling, boozing, lap-dancing, this takes some beating...a necessary and valuable boo.
  • Engaging, timely and important...an effective indictment of the narcissism and decadence of City life.
Before, he became notorious for his column City Boy, which he wrote anonymously in The London Paper. There he gave detailed accounts of greed, drug-taking, prostitutes, gambling and fraud.

Recently, I read a comment where the person asked the question, of how much of the risk appetite of investment banking was fueled by cocaine. In Italy, the government is currently debating drug tests for traders. There is allegedly a new study correlating market volatility with drug abuse among traders (the news article claiming this).

The story of Andrew Lahde is also telling. As founder and manager of a small California hedge fund he came into the spotlight in 2007, after his one-year-old fund returned 866% betting against the subprime collapse. In 2008 he closed his fund and wrote a "goodbye" letter to his investors. Some excerpts:
I was in this game for the money. The low hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale, and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking. These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government. All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy, only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades.
I now have time to repair my health, which was destroyed by the stress I layered onto myself over the past two years, as well as my entire life -- where I had to compete for spaces in universities and graduate schools, jobs and assets under management -- with those who had all the advantages (rich parents) that I did not. May meritocracy be part of a new form of government, which needs to be established.
First, I point out the obvious flaws, whereby legislation was repeatedly brought forth to Congress over the past eight years, which would have reigned in the predatory lending practices of now mostly defunct institutions. These institutions regularly filled the coffers of both parties in return for voting down all of this legislation designed to protect the common citizen. This is an outrage, yet no one seems to know or care about it.

Others have taken the same line in asking how deserved and legitimate the super-high salaries of top earners are. For instance George Monibot in the Guardian:
If wealth was the inevitable result of hard work and enterprise, every woman in Africa would be a millionaire. The claims that the ultra-rich 1% make for themselves – that they are possessed of unique intelligence or creativity or drive – are examples of the self-attribution fallacy.

Moreover, the accuracy of forecasts of financial experts is highly doubtful and the need for advice from experts may be more a psychological than practical thing. "We believe in experts in the same way that our ancestors believe in oracles." Taken from this Economist article.

The University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, considered to be one of the leading business schools in Europe, has a lecture on the emergence of new markets, where the increasing importance of innovation is discussed. One of the topics of the course is about leadership, power and conflict:
Innovation is not generated in the power center (management) of a corporation, but instead, exactly by such employees, who diverge from the prevailing mindset of the company.
(From the syllabus, translation mine.) And what does this say about income inequality, Gini coefficients, and who gets payed how much for doing what exactly?

And does high monetary compensation really motivate people? Make us creative and innovative? See for instance the youtube video called Drive: the surprising truth about what motivates us. (Thanks Ben for your comment reminding me about this.)

Finally, psychologists have also noted the Power Paradox:
[...] studies also show that once people assume positions of power, they’re likely to act more selfishly, impulsively, and aggressively, and they have a harder time seeing the world from other people’s points of view. This presents us with the paradox of power: The skills most important to obtaining power and leading effectively are the very skills that deteriorate once we have power. 

Greg Smith, Goldman Sachs executive director and head of the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, recently resigned. In an opinion piece in the New York Times, he heavily criticizes the firm’s ethical culture and moral conduct:
The firm changed the way it thought about leadership. Leadership used to be about ideas, setting an example and doing the right thing. Today, if you make enough money for the firm (and are not currently an ax murderer) you will be promoted into a position of influence.

Moreover, recent studies have indicated that the higher the social class and the wealthier the individuals are, the higher the tendency of unethical behavior and the less generous, charitable, trusting and helpful they proved to be. In general bad behavior appears to be spurred by greedSee links here.


Things Are Changing

Lahde's words from 2008 ring very familiar with the current Occupy Wall Street movement and their mantra "we are the 99%". Also Joseph Stigliz' analysis from May this year, mentioned above, continues and has an uncanny, prophetic feel to it:
Governments have been toppled in Egypt and Tunisia. Protests have erupted in Libya, Yemen, and Bahrain. The ruling families elsewhere in the region look on nervously from their air-conditioned penthouses—will they be next? [...] As we gaze out at the popular fervor in the streets, one question to ask ourselves is this: When will it come to America? In important ways, our own country has become like one of these distant, troubled places.
Americans have been watching protests against oppressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few. Yet in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income—an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret.
Of all the costs imposed on our society by the top 1 percent, perhaps the greatest is this: the erosion of our sense of identity, in which fair play, equality of opportunity, and a sense of community are so important.
It is this sense of an unjust system without opportunity that has given rise to the conflagrations in the Middle East: rising food prices and growing and persistent youth unemployment simply served as kindling. With youth unemployment in America at around 20 percent (and in some locations, and among some socio-demographic groups, at twice that); with one out of six Americans desiring a full-time job not able to get one; with one out of seven Americans on food stamps (and about the same number suffering from “food insecurity”)—given all this, there is ample evidence that something has blocked the vaunted “trickling down” from the top 1 percent to everyone else. All of this is having the predictable effect of creating alienation.

However, there are some rich and super-rich who see this predicament. In this "revolution of the rich", they are calling for higher taxes for themselves. In the US, billionaire Warren Buffet wrote an op-ed article in the New York Times where he sarcastically commented:
These and other blessings are showered upon us [the super-rich] by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It’s nice to have friends in high places.
and claims to pay half the percentage in taxes as his employees.

In Germany the musician Marius Müller-Westernhagen proclaimed
Taxes do not make the wealthy poor.
in an ongoing debate, in which some of millionaires have signaled their support of higher taxes for the rich. Similar advances can be seen in France, where 16 top managers of big French companies have signed a petition supporting higher taxes for the rich. More here.

The most extreme scaling law distribution of wealth is one person having everything. The most extreme Gaussian distribution, a delta function, would mean that everyone has exactly the same wealth. In-between, there is a multitude of possibilities. What do you think is equality?

But is this all really the right and relevant way to globally asses the well-being of the world's population? Shouldn't the focus be more related to happiness (which, admittedly, is hard to define) and its pursuit? For instance, something like a happiness index? The obvious answer is: no of course not, financial hardship always results in unhappiness. In contrast, how many people pursue demanding careers, make personal sacrifices and get high compensation actually because they believe this will increase their level of happiness?

But new insights coming from neuro-sciences and behavioral economics have shown that happiness can be very context dependent, constructed and sometimes quite independent from the external world:
A risk and compliance consultant at a major bank told the Guardian recently:
My sense is that a lot of people in finance hate what they do. There's no passion. But they are trapped by the money.

Recently, the Economist wrote
So levels of income are, if anything, inversely related to felicity. Perceived happiness depends on a lot more than material welfare.

Just sayin'...


PS
More on neuro-science:

155 comments:

Ben said...

Good post. I guess you know this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc&feature=share

jbg said...

thx, forgot about that one...

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jbg said...

money - a visualization:
http://xkcd.com/980/

lol:
http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-november-8-2011/the-walking-debt

jbg said...

"Self-Compassion Fosters Mental Health"

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=self-compassion-fosters-mental-health

jbg said...

"Insatiable longing"

Two new books probe the limits of capitalism.

http://www.economist.com/node/21559308?fsrc=scn/tw/te/ar/insatiablelonging

jbg said...

http://whoatemylunch.org/

Who Ate My Lunch, is an educational infographic that tells the story about wealth in the US by way of metaphor showing how 100 sandwiches are shared by 100 people. It’s clear the system doesn’t work when wealth is so concentrated at the top.

jbg said...

http://youtu.be/cZ7LzE3u7Bw
Richard Wilkinson: How economic inequality harms societies

Richard Wilkinson charts the hard data on economic inequality, and shows what gets worse when rich and poor are too far apart: real effects on health, lifespan, even such basic values as trust.

jbg said...

Wealth Inequality in America
http://youtu.be/QPKKQnijnsM


In Defense of the Wall Street Bonus
http://youtu.be/BZZqHR7k4K4


jbg said...

Swiss referendum backs executive pay curbs
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21647937

Mind Your Swiss Business
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324662404578331790244191944.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Fixing the fat cats
http://www.economist.com/news/business/21573169-switzerland-votes-curb-executive-pay-fixing-fat-cats

jbg said...

http://blog.tagesanzeiger.ch/berufung/index.php/1779/1779/

Reinhard Haller: Die Narzissmusfalle. Ecowin, Salzburg 2013.

jbg said...

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-last-mystery-of-the-financial-crisis-20130619

The Last Mystery of the Financial Crisis

It's long been suspected that ratings agencies like Moody's and Standard & Poor's helped trigger the meltdown. A new trove of embarrassing documents shows how they did it

jbg said...

Matt Bors: The Trickle Down Plot
http://www.mattbors.com/blog/2009/10/28/the-trickle-down-plot/


Dilbert
http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2011-01-26/

jbg said...

http://blog.tagesanzeiger.ch/nevermindthemarkets/index.php/13540/nicht-nur-irlands-banker/

http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/wirtschaft/unternehmen-und-konjunktur/Dieses-Telefongespraech-bestaetigt-die-schlimmsten-Befuerchtungen/story/28485315

jbg said...

Global Wealth Inequality - The Richest 30 people on earth have as much wealth as the poorest 3 billion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zc4elc_FOOI


jbg said...

Goldman Sachs’s Aluminum Pile

History is filled with examples of financial speculators who tried to make big profits by hoarding commodities like gold, silver and copper. Now, some big users of aluminum, including Coca-Cola and MillerCoors, say that the practices of large financial institutions like Goldman Sachs have driven up the price of that important metal.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/27/opinion/goldman-sachss-aluminum-pile.html

jbg said...


The Great American Bubble Machine
From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression -- and they're about to do it again

July 9, 2009

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-great-american-bubble-machine-20100405

jbg said...


Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever
The Illuminati were amateurs. The second huge financial scandal of the year reveals the real international conspiracy: There's no price the big banks can't fix

April 25, 2013 1:00 PM ET

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/everything-is-rigged-the-biggest-financial-scandal-yet-20130425

jbg said...

Libor Settlements Said to Ease CFTC Path in Rate-Swaps Probe

The correspondence shows that traders at Wall Street banks instructed ICAP brokers in Jersey City, New Jersey, to buy or sell as many interest-rate swaps as necessary to move the benchmark -- set each day at 11 a.m. in New York -- to a predetermined level, the person said.

By rigging the measure, the banks stood to profit on separate derivatives trades known as swaptions, or options on rate swaps, that they had with clients who were seeking to hedge against moves in interest rates. Banks sought to change the value of the swaps because the ISDAfix rate sets swaptions prices, the person said.


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-06/libor-settlements-said-to-ease-cftc-s-path-in-rate-swaps-probe.html

jbg said...

The Daily Show on bankers
6/24/13

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McILmDLioYU

jbg said...

David Graeber on "Bullshit Jobs":
Ever had the feeling that your job might be made up? That the world would keep on turning if you weren’t doing that thing you do 9-5?
http://www.strikemag.org/bullshit-jobs/

The Economists response:
http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2013/08/labour-markets-0

jbg said...

Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?
Harvard Business Review blog

"In my view, the main reason for the uneven management sex ratio is our inability to discern between confidence and competence."

"This is consistent with the finding that leaderless groups have a natural tendency to elect self-centered, overconfident and narcissistic individuals as leaders, and that these personality characteristics are not equally common in men and women."

"In other words, what it takes to get the job is not just different from, but also the reverse of, what it takes to do the job well."

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/08/why_do_so_many_incompetent_men.html

jbg said...

Money Boo Boo - The Canadian Banking System - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - 06/24/13

http://showyou.com/thedailyshow/h%3A5LHHvbFTcwqVDofR

jbg said...

Jon Ronson: Strange answers to the psychopath test
http://www.ted.com/talks/jon_ronson_strange_answers_to_the_psychopath_test.html

Test for Psychopathy
http://www.arkancide.com/psychopathy.htm

jbg said...

http://owsposters.tumblr.com/tagged/top20

jbg said...

Peter Principle

The principle is commonly phrased, "Employees tend to rise to their level of incompetence."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Principle

jbg said...

Ex-Banker Rudolf Wötzel über Gier und Allmachtsphantasien

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuYJl6OWTIA

jbg said...

Chrystia Freeland: The rise of the new global super-rich

http://www.ted.com/talks/chrystia_freeland_the_rise_of_the_new_global_super_rich.html

jbg said...

http://www.richarddawkins.net/news_articles/2013/8/31/how-poverty-taxes-the-brain

Put another way, the condition of poverty imposed a mental burden akin to losing 13 IQ points, or comparable to the cognitive difference that’s been observed between chronic alcoholics and normal adults.

Anonymous said...

http://www.projectcensored.org/exposing-financial-core-transnational-%E2%80%A8capitalist-class/

jbg said...

http://workisnotajob.com/

jbg said...

http://blog.tagesanzeiger.ch/nevermindthemarkets/index.php/33296/
wem-nuetzt-bernankes-geldpolitik/
Wem nützt Bernankes Geldpolitik?

jbg said...

The Economist

A new paper suggests that thinking about time has the opposite effect on people from thinking about money

http://econ.st/GBi0LM

jbg said...

http://www.pimco.com/EN/Insights/Pages/Scrooge-McDucks.aspx

Scrooge McDucks
William H. Gross

jbg said...

Young Billionaire Says Wealthy Are Not "Job Creators"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTG7RHXnUMM

jbg said...

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/daily-show-you-cant-ram-banking-regulation

The Daily Show: You Can't Jam Banking Regulation Down a Country's Throat

jbg said...

http://www.businessinsider.com/john-tabacco-on-the-daily-show-2013-6

'The Daily Show' Found The Most Offensive And Crude 'Hedge Fund Manager' In The World To Make Wall Street Look Bad

jbg said...

10 Corporations Control Almost Everything You Buy

http://www.policymic.com/articles/71255/10-corporations-control-almost-everything-you-buy-this-chart-shows-how

jbg said...

Academics Who Defend Wall St. Reap Reward

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/28/business/academics-who-defend-wall-st-reap-reward.html

jbg said...

No Way Out: Crime, Punishment and the Capitalization of Power

http://bnarchives.yorku.ca/391/

jbg said...

New Imperialism or New Capitalism?


http://bnarchives.yorku.ca/203/

jbg said...

The Economist:

The logical floor

Moderate minimum wages do more good than harm. They should be set by technocrats not politicians


http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21591593-moderate-minimum-wages-do-more-good-harm-they-should-be-set-technocrats-not?fsrc=scn/tw/te/pe/thelogicalfloor

jbg said...

Wired:

The Next Big Thing You Missed: Companies That Work Better Without Bosses

http://www.wired.com/business/2014/01/holacracy-at-zappos/?cid=co16753664

jbg said...

Richest 85 People Own As Much Wealth As Poorest 3.5 Billion

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-01-20/the-worlds-85-richest-now-worth-as-much-as-3-dot-5-billion-poorest

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/01/20/income-inequality-oxfam-wealth-study_n_4632157.html?ir=Canada+Business

http://rt.com/news/wealthy-rich-85-billion-879/

jbg said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rMPea0lm9U

Kevin O'Leary on global inequality: "It's fantastic!"

jbg said...


One-Percent Jokes and Plutocrats in Drag: What I Saw When I Crashed a Wall Street Secret Society
Kevin Roose

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/02/i-crashed-a-wall-street-secret-society.html

--

One journalist followed around eight young strangers in their first years of banking. Then the journalist, New York magazine's Kevin Roose, put it all together in a book, and it's out today.

The book is called Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street's Post-Crash Recruits.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/business_insider/2014/02/18/kevin_roose_young_money_interview.html

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0446583251/?tag=slatmaga-20

jbg said...

The #GlobalPOV Project: "Who is Dependent on Welfare" With Ananya Roy

http://youtu.be/-rtySUhuokM

jbg said...

More from Ananya Roy:

The #GlobalPOV Project: "Who Profits From Poverty?"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0deJfPUj1f8

The #GlobalPOV Project: "Can We Shop To End Poverty?"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpuf-N66CGI

Ananya Roy at TEDxBerkeley
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKASroLDF0M

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ananya_Roy

jbg said...

http://blog.tagesanzeiger.ch/datenblog/index.php/646/land-der-milliardaere

Land der Milliardäre

Ein gutes Jahr für Reiche: Der Hurun-Report listet 414 Milliardäre mehr auf als im Jahr zuvor. Im Pro-Kopf-Vergleich steht die Schweiz unangefochten an der Spitze.

jbg said...

IMF STAFF DISCUSSIONNOTE Feb 2014

Redistribution, Inequality, and Growth

Jonathan D. Ostry, Andrew Berg, and Charalambos G. Tsangarides

http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/sdn/2014/sdn1402.pdf

jbg said...

Eine neue Sicht auf Ungleichheit und Umverteilung

Markus Diem Meier am Mittwoch den 5. März 2014

http://blog.tagesanzeiger.ch/nevermindthemarkets/index.php/34262/eine-neue-sicht-auf-ungleichheit-und-umverteilung/

jbg said...

http://bnarchives.yorku.ca/343/

Capital as Power: Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism

Capital as Power: Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism
Bichler, Shimshon and Nitzan, Jonathan. (2012). Real-World Economics Review. No. 61. September. pp. 65-84. (Journal Article; English).

Conventional theories of capitalism are mired in a deep crisis: after centuries of debate, they are still unable to tell us what capital is. Liberals and Marxists think of capital as an economic entity that they count in universal units of utils and abstract labour, respectively. But these units are totally fictitious: they can be neither observed nor measured. In this sense, they do not exist. And since liberalism and Marxism depend on these non-existing units, their theories hang in suspension. They cannot explain the process that matters most – the accumulation of capital.

This breakdown is no accident. Capitalism, we argue, is not a mode of production but a mode of power, and every mode of power evolves together with its dominant theories, dogmas and ideologies. In capitalism, these theories and ideologies originally belonged to the study of political economy – the first mechanical science of society. But as the capitalist mode of power kept changing and the quantitative revolution made it less and less opaque, the power underpinnings of capital grew increasingly visible and the science of political economy disintegrated. By the late nineteenth century, with dominant capital having taken command, political economy was bifurcated into two distinct spheres: economics and politics. And in the twentieth century, when the power logic of capital had already penetrated every corner of society, the remnants of political economy were further fractured into mutually distinct social sciences. Capital was completely monopolized by economists, leaving other social scientists with little or no say in its analysis. And nowadays, when the reign of capital is all but universal, social scientists find that they have no coherent framework to account for it.

The theory of capital as power offers a unified alternative to this fracture. It argues that capital is not a narrow economic entity, but a symbolic quantification of power. Capital is not absolute, it is relative. It has little to do with utility or abstract labour, and it extends far beyond machines and production lines. Most broadly, it represents the organized power of dominant capital groups to create the order of – or creorder – their society.

This view leads to a different cosmology of capitalism. It offers a new theoretical framework for capital based on the twin notions of dominant capital and differential accumulation, a new conception of the state and a new history of the capitalist mode of power. It also introduces new empirical research methods – including new categories; new ways of thinking about, relating and presenting data; new estimates and measurements; and, finally, the beginning of a non-equilibrium disaggregate accounting that reveals the conflictual dynamics of society.

jbg said...

Paranoia of the Plutocrats

By PAUL KRUGMAN
January 26, 2014

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/01/27/opinion/krugman-paranoia-of-the-plutocrats.html

jbg said...

Matt Bors


Tom Perkins Is The Hitler of Making Accurate Comparisons
Being rich is just like the Holocaust
https://medium.com/matt-bors/550efaf2afca


The World According To Derp
Full employment today
https://medium.com/matt-bors/b99112ce029b


jbg said...

Paul Piff: Does money make you mean?

It's amazing what a rigged game of Monopoly can reveal. In this entertaining but sobering talk, social psychologist Paul Piff shares his research into how people behave when they feel wealthy. (Hint: badly.) But while the problem of inequality is a complex and daunting challenge, there's good news too.

http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_piff_does_money_make_you_mean

jbg said...

The Money Paradox

How does money motivate, trick, satisfy and disappoint us? In this hour, TED speakers share insights into our relationship with money.

http://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/295260995/the-money-paradox?showDate=2014-04-04

jbg said...

The World's 85 Richest People Are as Wealthy as the Poorest 3 Billion

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/01/the-worlds-85-richest-people-are-as-wealthy-as-the-poorest-3-billion/283206/



Robert Bennett: Are the rich getting richer off the poor?

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865592478/The-rich-are-getting-richer-off-the-poor.html

jbg said...

Study: US is an oligarchy, not a democracy

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-27074746

jbg said...


On both sides of the Atlantic, recent budget decisions pander to the ageing and affluent

https://twitter.com/TheEconomist/status/460913113500753920/photo/1

http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21601248-generation-old-people-about-change-global-economy-they-will-not-all-do-so?fsrc=scn/tw/te/pe/ed/ageinvaders

jbg said...

"I can’t help but wonder whether all this histrionic exhaustion isn’t a way of covering up the fact that most of what we do doesn’t matter."

The ‘Busy’ Trap
By Tim Kreider

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/

jbg said...

US 1% captures greatest slice of income pie: OECD

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101632582

jbg said...

How materialism makes us sad
The more we spend, the less happy we are. Can this explain why affluent politicians insist on taking from the poor?

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/07/how-materialism-makes-us-sad-empathy-charity

jbg said...

The Good Life: Wellbeing and the new science of altruism, selfishness and immorality

by Graham Music

http://www.amazon.com/The-Good-Life-selfishness-immorality/dp/1848722273/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399630356&sr=8-1&keywords=Good+Life+By+Graham+Music

jbg said...

STOP! Konsum und Wegwerfgesellschaft. Was macht wirklich Glücklich

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6EjBvAlw2U

jbg said...

Executive Compensation: How CEOs Rank
(Interactive chart)

http://graphics.wsj.com/executive-salary-compensation-2014/?year=2013

jbg said...

The 1% May Be Richer Than You Think, Research Shows

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-06/the-1-may-be-richer-than-you-think-research-shows.html

jbg said...

Lavish CEO Pay Has Virtually Nothing To Do With How Well A Company Performs

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/07/23/3463066/ceo-pay-stock-performance/#

jbg said...

"The science of inequality"
Science (academic journal):
Special Issue | 23 May 2014

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/344/6186/818.full

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/344/6186/818.full

jbg said...

http://www.dilbert.com/2014-08-30/

jbg said...

"The Hour Between Dog and Wolf: Risk Taking, Gut Feelings and the Biology of Boom and Bust"

John Coates


The laws of financial boom and bust, it turns out, have more than a little to do with male hormones.

jbg said...

From 85...

http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2014/01/23/the-85-richest-people-in-the-world-have-as-much-wealth-as-the-3-5-billion-poorest/

...to 67

http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesinsights/2014/03/25/the-67-people-as-wealthy-as-the-worlds-poorest-3-5-billion/

jbg said...

Neoliberalism has brought out the worst in us

Paul Verhaeghe

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/29/neoliberalism-economic-system-ethics-personality-psychopathicsthic

jbg said...

Some are more equal than others
http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2014/11/daily-chart-2?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/ed/somearemoreequalthanothers


Wealth of America's top 0.1% is about to exceed that of bottom 90% for first time since 1930s
https://twitter.com/TheEconomist/status/531826850834939904

jbg said...

The Real Wealth Gap: Between the Rich and Super-Rich

http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2012/04/13/the-real-wealth-gap-between-the-rich-and-super-rich/

jbg said...

Economists Aren’t As Nonpartisan As We Think

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/economists-arent-as-nonpartisan-as-we-think/

jbg said...

Inequality Hurts Economic Growth, for All of Us


It’s official, at least according to the OECD.

Rising inequality is estimated to have knocked more than 10 percentage points off growth in Mexico, New Zealand, Sweden, Finland and Norway over the past two decades. In Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States, the cumulative growth rate would have been six to nine percentage points higher had income disparities not widened. On the other hand, greater equality helped increase GDP per capita in Spain, France and Ireland prior to the crisis.

http://ineteconomics.org/institute-blog/inequality-hurts-economic-growth-all-us

jbg said...

http://www.verteilungsbericht.ch/

jbg said...

Critique of orthodox economics:

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/reinhart-and-rogoff-are-not-happy/


http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/storyline/wp/2015/01/05/the-protesters-who-are-trying-to-upend-the-fantasy-world-of-economics/

jbg said...

America’s elite
An hereditary meritocracy

The children of the rich and powerful are increasingly well suited to earning wealth and power themselves. That’s a problem

http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21640316-children-rich-and-powerful-are-increasingly-well-suited-earning-wealth-and-power

jbg said...

Post-Capitalism: Rise of the Collaborative Commons ---
The Revolution will not be Centralized

https://medium.com/basic-income/post-capitalism-rise-of-the-collaborative-commons-62b0160a7048

jbg said...

http://ourworldindata.org/data/growth-and-distribution-of-prosperity/world-poverty/#declining-global-poverty-1820-2010-share-of-people-living-in-extreme-poverty-max-roserref

http://ourworldindata.org/data/economic-development-work-standard-of-living/happiness-and-life-satisfaction/

jbg said...

JPMorgan Algorithm Knows You’re a Rogue Employee Before You Do

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-08/jpmorgan-algorithm-knows-you-re-a-rogue-employee-before-you-do

jbg said...

Stats:

http://www.knightfrank.com/wealthreport

https://publications.credit-suisse.com/tasks/render/file/?fileID=60931FDE-A2D2-F568-B041B58C5EA591A4

jbg said...

Viele Millionäre leiden unter ihrem Reichtum
Von wegen Geld macht glücklich. Eine neue Studie der UBS zeigt: Vor allem in ihrem Privatleben bereuen die Reichen ziemlich viel.

http://www.20min.ch/finance/news/story/Viele-Millionaere-leiden-unter-ihrem-Reichtum-30886796

jbg said...

Swiss Bank UBS To Pay $342 Million Currency Manipulation Fine, Plead Guilty On LIBOR

http://www.forbes.com/sites/antoinegara/2015/05/20/swiss-bank-ubs-to-pay-342-million-currency-manipulation-fine-plead-guilty-on-libor/

jbg said...

Wall Street Is Back, Almost as Big as Ever

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/19/upshot/wall-street-is-back-almost-as-big-as-ever.html

jbg said...

Reflections on Stress and Long Hours on Wall Street

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/02/business/dealbook/reflections-on-stress-and-long-hours-on-wall-street.html

jbg said...

Superreiche werden immer reicher
Der weltweite Reichtum steigt weiter kräftig, doch die Vermögen konzentrieren sich noch stärker bei den Superreichen. Das zeigt eine Studie.

http://www.20min.ch/finance/news/story/30861905

jbg said...

https://www.bcgperspectives.com/content/articles/financial_institutions_business_unit_strategy_global_wealth_2014_riding_wave_growth/

https://www.bcgperspectives.com/content/articles/financial-institutions-growth-global-wealth-2015-winning-the-growth-game/

jbg said...

13'300 neue Millionäre in einem Jahr
Allein in der Schweiz stieg die Zahl der Millionäre 2014 um vier Prozent. Die Reichen besitzen so viel wie noch nie.

http://www.20min.ch/panorama/news/story/13-300-neue-Millionaere-in-einem-Jahr-23958075

jbg said...

Bankers Think They Have an Ethical Duty to Steal From Taxpayers


http://ineteconomics.org/ideas-papers/blog/bankers-think-they-have-an-ethical-duty-to-steal-from-taxpayers

jbg said...

The World's Richest People Lost $70 Billion Yesterday

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-30/the-world-s-richest-people-lost-70-billion-yesterday

jbg said...

Beware, fellow plutocrats, the pitchforks are coming

Nick Hanauer is a rich guy, an unrepentant capitalist — and he has something to say to his fellow plutocrats: Wake up! Growing inequality is about to push our societies into conditions resembling pre-revolutionary France. Hear his argument about why a dramatic increase in minimum wage could grow the middle class, deliver economic prosperity ... and prevent a revolution.

https://www.ted.com/talks/nick_hanauer_beware_fellow_plutocrats_the_pitchforks_are_coming

jbg said...

Capitalism Redefined

What prosperity is, where growth comes from, why markets work—and how we resolve the tension between a prosperous world and a moral one.

Nick Hanauer & Eric Beinhocker

http://www.democracyjournal.org/31/capitalism-redefined.php?page=all

jbg said...

The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats

By NICK HANAUER

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/the-pitchforks-are-coming-for-us-plutocrats-108014.html

jbg said...

HISTORY OF IDEAS - Capitalism

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIuaW9YWqEU

jbg said...

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-07-28/why-economists-have-trouble-explaining-bubbles

jbg said...

Paul Piff:
Does money make you mean?

http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_piff_does_money_make_you_mean

jbg said...

The risk addicts
What makes some City traders develop a pathological gambling addiction? The secret lives of gambler-traders

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/788c1930-6b3a-11e2-9670-00144feab49a.html

jbg said...

Corporate taxation
New rules, same old paradigm

A plan to curb multinationals’ tax avoidance is an opportunity missed

http://www.economist.com/news/business/21672207-plan-curb-multinationals-tax-avoidance-opportunity-missed-new-rules-same-old?fsrc=scn/tw/te/pe/ed/corporatetaxation

jbg said...


It Takes More Than Luck

http://dilbert.com/strip/2015-10-13

jbg said...

Keeping up with the Karumes

A new study shows that money can buy you happiness—but only fleetingly, at others’ expense

http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21677223-new-study-shows-money-can-buy-you-happinessbut-only-fleetingly-others

jbg said...

http://www.20min.ch/finance/news/story/-Banker-bekommen-zu-viel-Geld--28457657

«Banker bekommen zu viel Geld»
John Cryan, langjähriger UBS-Finanzchef und heutiger Deutsche-Bank-CEO, ärgert sich über die Löhne in seiner Branche. Viele Banker glaubten, sie sollten wie Unternehmer bezahlt werden.

jbg said...

Die 300 Reichsten besitzen 595 Milliarden

595 Milliarden Franken besitzen die 300 reichsten Schweizer: ein Rekordwert. Das ist so viel, wie die 95 Prozent der Normalverdiener zusammen besitzen.

http://www.20min.ch/finance/news/story/Die-300-Reichsten-besitzen-595-Milliarden-11150870

jbg said...

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/98ce14ee-99a6-11e5-95c7-d47aa298f769.html

"America’s Middle Class Meltdown: core shrinks to half of US homes"

America’s middle class has shrunk to just half the population for the first time in at least four decades...

[...]

The sense of polarisation in US society is underscored by the rapid growth seen at the extreme rich and poor ends of the spectrum. “The distribution of adults by income is thinning in the middle and bulking up at the edges,” says Pew’s report. Households above the middle class are on the cusp of holding more income than all other households combined, suggesting earnings are getting concentrated in fewer hands.

jbg said...

How to end the stock buyback deluge


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/how-to-end-the-stock-buyback-deluge/2015/12/30/e9408c52-af2e-11e5-9ab0-884d1cc4b33e_story.html

jbg said...

62 people own the same as half the world, reveals Oxfam Davos report

https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2016-01-18/62-people-own-same-half-world-reveals-oxfam-davos-report


Richest 62 people as wealthy as half of world's population, says Oxfam

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jan/18/richest-62-billionaires-wealthy-half-world-population-combined

jbg said...

62 fleißigste Menschen genauso reich wie 3,7 Milliarden faulste Menschen zusammen

http://www.der-postillon.com/2016/01/62-fleiigste-menschen-genauso-reich-wie.html

jbg said...

We’ve been conned by the rich predators of Davos

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/19/davos-super-rich-wealth-inequality

jbg said...

Goldman Sachs Says It May Be Forced to Fundamentally Question How Capitalism Is Working

"Needless to say, it's not every day you see a major investment bank say it might have to start asking broader questions about capitalism itself."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-03/goldman-sachs-says-it-may-be-forced-to-fundamentally-question-how-capitalism-is-working

jbg said...

Between debt and the devil by Adair Turner

[...]
Part theory, part history and the rest policy advice, Between Debt and the Devil ranges from thrifty German consumers to house-obsessed Londoners, from China’s reserves to the eurozone’s flaws.
[...]
Turner wishes to cover every possible objection to his thesis: that growth has become dependent on a rising tide of debt, so dangerous that it demands a thorough overhaul of how the economy is run. Turner is more than just another thinker merrily seeking to provoke his audience; he is an experienced British policymaker accustomed to weighing up the angles.
[...]
The background he sketches should be familiar. Rising inequality before the crash — fed by globalisation, rigid land markets and technological change — would have led to chronically weak demand were it not for ballooning debt. This fuelled unsustainable booms in consumption and property. Policymakers accepted on trust that the spread of debt was macroeconomically irrelevant. The financial crisis proved this is wrong, particularly when economies accumulate the “wrong sort” of debt, which hangs around stifling growth for years.


http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/f1fef3ce-7e50-11e5-a1fe-567b37f80b64.html

jbg said...


America’s Middle-class Meltdown: Core shrinks to half of US homes

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/98ce14ee-99a6-11e5-95c7-d47aa298f769.html

jbg said...

"Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period."

What Makes a Good Life? Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness | Robert Waldinger | TED Talks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KkKuTCFvzI

jbg said...


Why Are Corporations Hoarding Trillions?

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/24/magazine/why-are-corporations-hoarding-trillions.html?_r=0

jbg said...

Nobel Prize Economist Says American Inequality Didn’t Just Happen. It Was Created.

http://evonomics.com/nobel-prize-economist-says-american-inequality-didnt-just-happen-it-was-created/

jbg said...

Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?

http://evonomics.com/nobel-prize-economist-says-american-inequality-didnt-just-happen-it-was-created/

jbg said...

Too much of a good thing

Profits are too high. America needs a giant dose of competition

http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21695385-profits-are-too-high-america-needs-giant-dose-competition-too-much-good-thing

jbg said...


Wenn Chefs wie Kinder denken

Die Bonusprogramme in manchen Konzernen unterstellen, dass Spitzenmanager nicht reifer sind als Kinder.

http://www.nzz.ch/meinung/reflexe/wenn-chefs-wie-kinder-denken-1.18718244

jbg said...

What are the Panama papers and why do they matter?

"[T]he fundamental disconnect between global elites and the rest, for whom taxes are as certain as death."

http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2016/04/economist-explains-1

jbg said...

Bhutan’s dark secret to happiness

Citizens of one of the happiest countries on Earth are surprisingly comfortable contemplating a topic many prefer to avoid. Is that the key to joy?


http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20150408-bhutans-dark-secret-to-happiness

jbg said...

Trotz Abgasskandal: VW-Vorstände bestehen auf hohen Bonuszahlungen


Sie sprechen von einer "existenzbedrohenden Krise", doch auf ihren Bonus wollen die VW-Vorstände nach SPIEGEL-Informationen nicht verzichten. Aufsichtsratschef Pötsch ließ sich den Wechsel ins Kontrollgremium besonders teuer bezahlen.

http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/unternehmen/volkswagen-vw-vorstaende-rebellieren-gegen-streichung-von-boni-a-1085891.html

jbg said...


Opinion: How the GOP scammed its voters … and created Trump

Nick Hanauer lays out the epic failure of the Republican party to serve its voters, prompting the popular surge in support for Donald Trump.

http://ideas.ted.com/were-you-surprised-by-the-rise-of-donald-trump/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Hanauer

jbg said...


The Rich Kids Of Instagram (Cutting the edge) Full documentary

https://youtu.be/e8EeyEbvK6s

jbg said...

Robber Baron Recessions

"In recent years many economists, including people like Larry Summers and yours truly, have come to the conclusion that growing monopoly power is a big problem for the U.S. economy — and not just because it raises profits at the expense of wages."


http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/18/opinion/robber-baron-recessions.html?_r=1

jbg said...

Why the S.E.C. Didn’t Hit Goldman Sachs Harder

http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/why-the-s-e-c-didnt-hit-goldman-sachs-harder

jbg said...


Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems

Financial meltdown, environmental disaster and even the rise of Donald Trump – neoliberalism has played its part in them all. Why has the left failed to come up with an alternative?



http://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/15/neoliberalism-ideology-problem-george-monbiot

jbg said...


A majority of millennials now reject capitalism, poll shows

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/04/26/a-majority-of-millennials-now-reject-capitalism-poll-shows/

jbg said...

Can Philosophy Stop Bankers From Stealing?

http://ineteconomics.org/ideas-papers/blog/can-philosophy-stop-bankers-from-stealing

jbg said...

New 'happiness equation' links cheerfulness with equality

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/happiness-equation-generosity-inequality-study

jbg said...

"Let us assume, dear reader, that you are interested in one thing and one thing only: obtaining a vast fortune.” So begins economist Sam Wilkin’s new book, Wealth Secrets of the One Percent, on how the super rich became just that.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/fame-fortune/wealth-secrets-of-the-one-percent-how-the-super-rich-became-supe/

jbg said...

"Company leaders should seek to make all their employees happy, both materially and intellectually."
"The Buddhist Priest Who Became a Billionaire Snubbing Investors"
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-04/the-no-1-business-rule-of-this-billionaire-and-buddhist-priest

"Maverick: The Success Story Behind the World's Most Unusual Workplace" Ricardo Semler
https://www.amazon.com/Maverick-Success-Behind-Unusual-Workplace/dp/0446670553


"Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman" Yvon Chouinard
https://www.amazon.com/Maverick-Success-Behind-Unusual-Workplace/dp/0446670553

jbg said...


Does the one percent deserve what it gets?

http://equitablegrowth.org/equitablog/does-the-one-percent-deserve-what-it-gets/

jbg said...

Joseph Stiglitz Says Standard Economics Is Wrong. Inequality and Unearned Income Kills the Economy

http://evonomics.com/joseph-stiglitz-inequality-unearned-income/

jbg said...

Definitive data on what poor people buy when they’re just given cash

http://qz.com/853651/definitive-data-on-what-poor-people-buy-when-theyre-just-given-cash/


Cash Transfers and Temptation Goods
David K. Evans, World Bank
Anna Popova, Stanford University
http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/689575

jbg said...

Neoliberalism is creating loneliness. That’s what’s wrenching society apart

George Monbiot

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/12/neoliberalism-creating-loneliness-wrenching-society-apart

jbg said...


The Gift of Death

Pathological consumption has become so normalised that we scarcely notice it.


By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 11th December 2012


http://www.monbiot.com/2012/12/10/the-gift-of-death/

jbg said...


"Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown"
April 15, 2014
Philip Mirowski

https://www.amazon.com/Never-Serious-Crisis-Waste-Neoliberalism/dp/1781683026/

jbg said...


What Happens When You Believe in Ayn Rand and Modern Economic Theory

The reality of unfettered self-interest

http://evonomics.com/what-happens-when-you-believe-in-ayn-rand-and-modern-economic-theory/

jbg said...

Monopolies Are Worse Than We Thought

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-02-15/monopolies-are-worse-than-we-thought

jbg said...

On passive investing:

1. Bernstein: Passive Investing Is Worse for Society Than Marxism
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-23/bernstein-passive-investing-is-worse-for-society-than-marxism

2. Are Index Funds Eating the World?
http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2016/08/26/are-index-funds-eating-the-world/

3. Stealth socialism - Passive investment funds create headaches for antitrust authorities
http://www.economist.com/node/21707191

jbg said...

A giant problem

The rise of the corporate colossus threatens both competition and the legitimacy of business

http://www.economist.com/node/217

jbg said...

How a Ruthless Network of Super-Rich Ideologues Killed Choice and Destroyed People’s Faith in Politics

Neoliberalism: the deep story that lies beneath Donald Trump’s triumph

By George Monbiot

http://evonomics.com/ruthless-network-super-rich-ideologues-killed-choice-destroyed-peoples-faith-politics/

jbg said...


Neoliberalism Was Supposed to Make Us Richer: Three Reasons Why It Didn’t

How neoliberalism contributed to the productivity slowdown

http://evonomics.com/neoliberalism-richer-thre

jbg said...

When Economics Had Ethics

Remembering Kenneth Arrow

https://bostonreview.net/class-inequality/debra-satz-when-economics-had-ethics

jbg said...

Complexity Economics Shows Us Why Laissez-Faire Economics Always Fails

Markets are a type of ecosystem that is complex, adaptive, and subject to the same evolutionary forces as nature.


"During 2007 and 2008, giant financial institutions were obliterated, the net worth of most Americans collapsed, and most of the world’s economies were brought to their knees.

At the same time, this has been an era of radical economic inequality, at levels not seen since 1929. Over the last three decades, an unprecedented consolidation and concentration of earning power and wealth has made the top 1 percent of Americans immensely richer while middleclass Americans have been increasingly impoverished.

To most Americans and certainly most economists and policymakers, these two phenomena seem unrelated. In fact, traditional economic theory and contemporary American economic policy does not seem to admit the possibility that they are connected in any way."

http://evonomics.com/complexity-economics-shows-us-that-laissez-faire-fail-nickhanauer/

jbg said...

Google 2.4% Rate Shows How $60 Billion Is Lost to Tax Loopholes

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-21/google-2-4-rate-shows-how-60-billion-u-s-revenue-lost-to-tax-loopholes.html/

jbg said...

State aid: Ireland gave illegal tax benefits to Apple worth up to €13 billion

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-2923_en.htm

jbg said...

Starbucks to pay £20m UK corporate tax

Starbucks has caved in to public pressure and pledged to pay £10m in UK corporate tax in each of the next two years even if it makes a loss following calls to boycott the coffee chain over its “immoral” tax practices.

https://www.ft.com/content/ac97bb1e-3fa5-11e2-b0ce-00144feabdc0

jbg said...

"In total, every year multinationals avoid paying US$50-200 billion in taxes in the European Union using offshore financial centers [1].

In the United States, tax evasion by multinational corporations via offshore jurisdictions is estimated to be at least US$130 billion per year [2]."


[1] Dover, R., Ferrett, B., Gravino, D., Jones, E. and Merler, S., 2015. Bringing Transparency, Coordination and Convergence to Corporate Tax Policies in the European Union. Part I: Assessment of the Magnitude of Aggressive Corporate Tax Planning.

[2] Zucman, G., 2014. Taxing across borders: Tracking personal wealth and corporate profits. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 28(4), pp.121-148.
Vancouver

jbg said...

Revealed: the huge profits earned by big banks on overseas money transfers

An internal Santander memo leaked to Guardian Money says 10% of its global profits come from international cash transfers, and it charges six times more than newer rivals

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/apr/08/leaked-santander-international-money-transfers-transferwise

jbg said...

"It’s Simple! Concentrated Wealth and Inequality Crushes Economic Growth"

https://evonomics.com/its-simple-yes-concentrated-wealth-and-inequality-crushes-economic-growth/

jbg said...

How a Ruthless Network of Super-Rich Ideologues Killed Choice and Destroyed People’s Faith in Politics

Neoliberalism: the deep story that lies beneath Donald Trump’s triumph

http://evonomics.com/ruthless-network-super-rich-ideologues-killed-choice-destroyed-peoples-faith-politics/

jbg said...

The end of capitalism has begun

Without us noticing, we are entering the postcapitalist era. At the heart of further change to come is information technology, new ways of working and the sharing economy. The old ways will take a long while to disappear, but it’s time to be utopian



https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jul/17/postcapitalism-end-of-capitalism-begun

jbg said...

A new anthology of essays reconsiders Thomas Piketty’s “Capital”

The book explores arguments left undeveloped in Mr Piketty’s masterwork

http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21722166-book-explores-arguments-left-undeveloped-mr-pikettys-masterwork-new

jbg said...

Rutger Bregman:
Poverty isn't a lack of character; it's a lack of cash

"Ideas can and do change the world," says historian Rutger Bregman, sharing his case for a provocative one: guaranteed basic income. Learn more about the idea's 500-year history and a forgotten modern experiment where it actually worked — and imagine how much energy and talent we would unleash if we got rid of poverty once and for all.

https://www.ted.com/talks/rutger_bregman_poverty_isn_t_a_lack_of_character_it_s_a_lack_of_cash