The flow of money from rich countries to poor countries pales in comparison to the flow that runs in the other direction ... In 2012, the last year of recorded data, developing countries received a total of $1.3tn, including all aid, investment, and income from abroad. But that same year some $3.3tn flowed out of them.
The words used by neoliberalism often conceal more than they elucidate ... “Investment”...means two quite different things. One is the funding of productive and socially useful activities, the other is the purchase of existing assets to milk them for rent, interest, dividends and capital gains. Using the same word for different activities “camouflages the sources of wealth”, leading us to confuse wealth extraction with wealth creation.
The kingdom may have stretched its current limits by extracting a record of around 10.7 million bpd this year... one reason why Riyadh pushed so hard for a global deal to cut production. Riyadh... felt the burn of cheap oil this year...as the reality of its costly war in Yemen and the task of shaking up its economy to create thousands of jobs began to sink in. The government is trying to boost non-oil revenue and modernize the economy through an ambitious reform plan called "Vision 2030."
in 1940, a child born into the average American household had a 92 percent chance of making more money than his or her parents ... For children born in 1950, the likelihood of achieving the American Dream had begun to fall but remained very high ... For babies born in 1980 — today’s 36-year-olds — the index of the American dream has fallen to 50 percent: Only half of them make as much money as their parents did.
America’s relative clout as a trading power has been in steady decline: the number of countries for which it is the biggest export market dropped from 44 in 1994 to 32 two decades later. But the dollar’s supremacy as a means of exchange and a store of value remains unchallenged ... By one estimate in 2014 a de facto dollar zone, comprising America and countries whose currencies move in line with the greenback, encompassed perhaps 60% of the world’s population and 60% of its GDP.
Wealth — the value of a household’s property and financial assets, minus the value of its debts — is much more highly concentrated than income ... the top 3 percent of the distribution hold over half of all wealth ... the share of before-tax income that the richest 1 percent of households receive has been rising since the late 1970s, and in the past decade has climbed to levels not seen since the 1920s. The vast majority of the increase...going to the top 0.5 percent of households
These complex mathematical formulations carry weight with the government because they purport to be objective. But a ProPublica examination of several marquee deals found that economists sometimes salt away inconvenient data in footnotes and suppress negative findings, stretching the standards of intellectual honesty to promote their clients’ interests ... Once a merger is approved, nobody studies whether the consultants’ predictions were on the mark.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said the economic activities of the Armed Forces constitute between 1 and 1.5 percent of GDP. Sisi’s estimations accurately reflect the official book value for the Armed Forces, but... other activities, such as private-sector partnerships for land ownership... are unlikely to be included in these calculations. Analysts say the main issue in Egypt is not the scale of the military economy as much as the lack of transparency and civilian oversight concerning it.
What economics has missed is that adding an incentive – a fine or a bonus – may be subtracting something else, the individual’s sense of responsibility, or obligation, or intrinsic pleasure ... Children have an initial inclination to help, but extrinsic rewards may diminish it. Socialization practices can thus build on these tendencies, working in concert rather than in conflict with children’s natural predisposition to act altruistically.
Economists have long argued that while free trade creates winners and losers, the net results are beneficial. Americans gained from inexpensive imports and filled their homes with low-price bicycles, jewelry and kitchenware. U.S. companies won access to overseas markets ... China upended many of those assumptions. No other country came close to its combination of a vast working-age population, super-low wages, government support, cheap currency and productivity gains.