“How 37 Banks Became 4 In Just 2 Decades“:
If you were wondering how banks got “too big to fail,” here’s a good place to start. This chart shows us how, over the last couple of decades, 37 banks have became just 4 mega-banks. These same 4 mega-banks have, thus far, been immune to the consequences of any and all of their terrible decisions that places the entire world economy in jeopardy.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) published their annual Cyprus tax, facts and figures brochure for the year 2016. It is a handy document to send to friends abroad who are interested in moving to Cyprus or starting a business here.
One thing that I found ironic in this document was the example they used for personal taxation (page 7-8 in the English PDF). The example is for someone with a monthly salary of 5,885 EUR and additional income from rent, etc – a total income of 75,620 EUR per annum. Looking at the average salary in European Union, Cyprus shows 1,833 EUR per month in 2014 and 1,574 EUR per month in 2015.
I hope PwC predicts a huge spike in average salaries in 2016. That would be nice …
“America is full of high-earning poor people” is an interesting article, with lots of charts and statistics, on how poor even high earning households are in America. The problem is, of course, not unique to the United States.
The fact that the average upper-middle-class household has just $12,200 in non-pension financial wealth is disturbing. Even worse, within that group, about 25% of the higher earning population had only $3,200 in 2013. It’s no wonder one quarter of all American households couldn’t come up with $2,000 if they faced an emergency—it’s not just low earners.
Cyprus Mail reports:
ALMOST ONE third of Cyprus is at risk of poverty and social exclusion, according to figures released by the statistical service that show an increasing trend since 2008.
The latest numbers show that in 2013, the risk was 27.8 per cent compared to 23.3 per cent in 2008, both of which are way off the national target of 19.8 per cent.
One measurement new to me was the “material deprivation” items:
In 2013, 16.1 per cent of the population in 2013 could not afford to pay at least four out of nine ‘material deprivation’ items. These are the ability to pay rent or utility bills, to cover unexpected charges, to keep their home adequately heated, to eat meat, fish or a protein equivalent every second day, to take a week’s holiday away from home, or to buy a car, washing machine, colour TV and telephone.
Now that puts it a bit into a perspective … “at least four out of nine”.
Joe Kukura predicts the upcoming burst of the next tech bubble in his “The next tech bubble is about to burst“:
My timer for the bursting of this tech bubble currently stands at nine months. That’s when investors and venture capital markets will stop throwing around billions in Monopoly money, companies without any profits will lose their suspiciously optimistic valuations, and startups will crater. Unicorns will die, skies will fall, and parents’ basements will be resettled. We saw this with tech in 2000, with banks in 2008, and according to my Magic 8-Ball, we’re going to see it again very soon.
I don’t really know who he is, but he is linked to a selection of other people saying the same thing, with who I’m very well familiar – Mark Cuban, Andreessen Horowitz, Fred Wilson, and others.
Battle scars: How the first world war changed the world
Geography changed too. After the war the Treaty of Versailles carved out new countries from what remained of the old pre-war empires. Independence was granted to the Baltic states, which had been handed to Germany in 1918 as part of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which ended Russian involvement in the first world war. Poland was reconstituted from former Russian, German and Austro-Hungarian territories, and Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and a larger Romania were created.
Check the link for the cool swipe map overlay.
The worst of both worlds in 2014
This is going to be a tougher year, financially. It looks like nobody will be left untouched.