Is wealth $$$?

An article threw me yesterday. It was given by the Dutch News agency NOS, it was not merely the title, it was the entire setting that threw me. So as we are considering the translated title ‘Dutch in 4th place richest citizens worldwide’ (at https://nos.nl/artikel/2401433-nederlanders-wereldwijd-op-4de-plek-rijkste-burgers) we should consider the list that Allianz seemingly gives the viewers. In that list we see: 

  1. USA (218.000 euro) 
  2. Switzerland (212.000 euro)
  3. Denmark (149.000 euro)
  4. Netherlands (129.000 euro)

Now, that would be fine were it not that there is a place in Europe called Monaco where the average wealth is 1,824,177 Euros, it might be all those billionaires and multi millionaires in that place. Then there is Luxembourg with the average 663,661 euro’s and that took seconds to check, so what does Allianz think it is doing? They give us “The report ranks the assets and debts of nearly 60 countries” I see this as a report that heralds filtered information bringing. Some call it lying but I think they are bonkers. It seems that news, the media, and politicians are all about filtering the information. It reminds me of someone. Ah yes, was that not a premise in George Orwells 1984 as well? 

And when we reconsider “nearly 60 countries” what are the chances that none of the zero tax nations are part of that? And when we consider “Switzerland ranks well on the list because the country attracts a lot of wealthy people, due to its low taxes.” Might this all be a ruse? I have no idea where they are going with all that, but they have a plan. A place like Allianz has the German grundlichkeit, so something is up. Now if that report had a separate section for Zero tax nations I might have had some peace with it. Yet when we search further we see “According to BMO, the average Canadian household now has more than $1 million in total assets, even after accounting for debt”, we got that last July, as such is seems that the average Canadian is twice as wealthy as an American, so what is Allianz doing this and more important, what the fuck is the Dutch NOS doing publishing an article without proper vetting? 

And that leaves us to think, is wealth really about ‘$$$’, ‘£££’, or ‘€€€’? Me and many others (especially as we do not have it) believe it to be so, but I will accept that money gives less complications and as such we would be happier. And there we have the rub, do we really have less complications as we are being lied to? 

In this is filtering the information we get a new form of lying? That took me back to 1984 (not the year). I remember when I read it and a few parts never made sense. One of those were “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought”, I had an issue because if we (me claiming to be me) are of pure thought (not some paedophilic clergy edition) how can we be corrupted? I learned that over the years. I was lied to from basic school onwards. The christian invasion in the middle east was not to protect any land, not even a fictive holy one, so as we go on we were lied to more and more and it was not a point of view, the Crusades gave us that part. It would be a few more years as I got a hold of one sided information and later on filtered information the circle was nearly complete and now we see a larger stage, the last bastions of actual news reporting are now falling. The pointing powers behind the screens are now afraid of everything that comes and they will force new slogans like ‘tax the rich’ onto the people setting us up for some small version of civic war, but they will call it something else. Some form of social war. 

Yet there is more, The Global Wealth Report 2021 (at https://www.eulerhermes.com/content/dam/onemarketing/ehndbx/eulerhermes_com/en_gl/erd/publications/pdf/2021_10_07_Global-Wealth-Report.pdf) gives us more. Allianz gave that report to the world and even as the NOS bongs it, it does not mean that I need to do the same, does it? And on page 38 I see the first part, the part that shows grundlichkeit. There we see “Debt in the US represents 81.5% of output, while in Canada household liabilities are 114.7% of GDP. The ratio increased substantially from 2019 (US: 76.6%; CAN: 105.3%), not so much because of the increase in liabilities, which was also at highs not seen since 2007 (EUR522bn), but rather because of the sharp economic contraction of 2020”, as well as “There are still 2mn borrowers in debt forbearance who are vulnerable to financial distress once the forbearance programs come to an end. As of today, debt delinquency is not a problem. But going forward, when the pandemic protections expire, the historical debt burden in the US, not just among households, but also related to the government, might become a risk factor in the road to recovery.” OK, so that sounds better, well not that much better but at least there is a large solid pedestal it is all build on. On page 19 we see some graphs that explain the list (even as Switzerland was number one) and the other charts show that there is a larger story and we also see that none of the Zero Tax places are included. 

So as a non-economist I do grasp decent parts of the report, but what boggles the mind is how the NOS set the stage to what it published. Especially when we consider page 38 giving us “the historical debt burden in the US, not just among households, but also related to the government, might become a risk factor in the road to recovery.” When we read this with a debt of $28,000,000,000,000 How are they the richest player? When that debt goes south, they will be worse off than Mexico ever was (my speculated view). And when we see the list on page 52, we see where the NOS got its list, yet when we consider ‘by net financial assets per capita’ or to the right of that where the Swiss are number one and USA is number two giving us ‘by gross financial assets per capita’, I feel there is a lot missing (mainly that I am not seeing it all), but the report does show a whole range of issues. It also gave me the surprising view that Germany is way behind nations like Belgium, New Zealand, Italy, France and Israel. A stage I never expected, but that happens when you have a partial view, I personally believe that this is report is a partial view but that is not a bad thing. It is not some filtered view, it is a partial view of the elements that set the assets and equities (a stage that I feel happy I never understood). And that is not on Allianz, but the flaky article that the NOS is giving its Dutch citizens is on the NOS. For the life of me I have no idea where they expected to go, a 55 page report created by a dozen economists reduced to a 5 bullet-point article by someone who could never have been an economist. That’s today’s media for you. 

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