Showing posts from January, 2009

Galbraith Revisited

To follow up on my post from a while ago, Galbraith sited 5 key reasons for the 1929 crash and following depression:
1. The bad distribution of income.
2. The bad corporate structure.
3. The bad banking structure.
4. The dubious state of the foreign balance.
5. The poor state of economic intelligence.

To compare this to today:
1. Bad income distribution.
1929 - Top 5% received about 33% of all personal income.
1929 - Top 1% held 44% of all wealth.
2000 - Top 1% received about 20% of all personal income.
2004 - Top 1% held 34% of all wealth.

Here is a picture of the real income gains between 1979 and 2005 by percentage. It is clear that the top income groups are gaining ground faster than lower income groups - creating an income distribution that approaches 1929.

2. Bad corporate structure. In the 1929 era there had been a large rise in a "vast structure of holding companies and investment trusts... In particular the dividends from the operating companies paid the interest on the bonds of th…