Monday, November 22, 2010

Global Wealth Factbook

The 2010 global wealth factbook from Credit Suisse.

The summary (in USD):
  • Total wealth: 195 trillion
  • 195 trillion = financial asset (117 trillion) + non-financial asset, mainly real estate (115 trillion) - household debt (37 trillion)
  • Top three wealth coutries: US (54.6 trillion), Japan (21 trillion), and China (16.5 trillion)
  • Top three household debt: US (13.9 trillion), Japan (4.3 trillion), and Germany (2 trillion)
  • Top three average wealth per adult: Switzerland (373K), Norway (327K), Austrilia (321K)... US (236K)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Stimulus and Debt Reduction

My colleage sent me this amusing story explaining how the stimulus work for relieving debt:

IT is a slow day in a dusty little Irish town. The rain is beating down and the streets are deserted.
Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit.
On this particular day a rich tourist is driving through the town, stops at the local hotel and lays a €100 note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night.

The owner gives him some keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the €100 note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.

The butcher takes the €100 note and runs down the street to repay his debt to the pig farmer.

The pig farmer takes the €100 note and heads off to pay his bill at the supplier of feed and fuel.

The guy at the Farmers' Co-op takes the €100 note and runs to pay his drinks bill at the pub.

The publican slips the money along to the local prostitute drinking at the bar, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer him "services" on credit.

The hooker then rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill to the hotel owner with the €100 note. The hotel proprietor then places the €100 note back on the counter so the rich traveler will not suspect anything.

At that moment the traveler comes down the stairs, picks up the €100 note, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money, and leaves town.

No one produced anything. No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now out of debt and looking to the future with a lot more optimism.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the stimulus package works.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

China's Catch-Up on High-Speed Rail Technology

An interesting and detailed article about how China learned the technology of high-speed rail from developed countries.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Quantitative Easing Explained

A very funny video about the Fed and Quantitative Easing II.

Hamilton provides more accurate and serious answers to those bunnies' questions.