$105 Trillion Global Economy

GDP is not the best of measures but it is what we use to meaure economies. Globally, (in 2023) that totals more than $100 trillion. My post-pandemic work is primarily focused on the bottom left slice of this big pie, in Africa. That continent’s GDP is more than $3 trillion, and even 1 trillion dollars is a lot of dollars, but in comparison to the rest of the world, is tiny. Smaller still as...

Double Entry: Gleeson-White

Who invented double entry accounting? The ubiquitous system of general ledgers, income statements, balance sheets, and cashflow statements found throughout businesses and quite a lot of households? This is yet-another of those concept so taken for granted that they seem to have been around “forever”, but thanks to Double Entry: How the Merchants of Venice Created Modern Finance by...

The Work of the Stock Exchange (J.E. Meeker)

Despite the fact that stock markets have been operating for over 400 years, how exactly they work at the level of individual participate and individual role is rarely documented. Here in the 21st Century most of the accounts are how to make money as an investor, two or three steps away from the actual transactions taking place within the exchange. Which is why it was so fascinating to find and...

The Rise (and Fall) of the US Dollar

The Visual Capitalist comes though again with an animated tale of the last 120 years of world reserve currencies. Some screen shots and commentary below: The start of the 20th Century is the end of the British Empire. The USD is a minor currency. The British Pound is by far the world’s most popular reserve currency and the world’s international trade settled in London, not New York...

Progress on Global Poverty

In the fight to eliminate global poverty, a statistic often quoted is the World Bank’s claim that the poverty rate is below 10%. True, but only when measured against a global poverty line of $2.15 per day. $2.15 is about the same as American’s spend per day on their dogs and cats. Progress is still positive if you pick a more realistic poverty line, but at $3.65 there are nearly 2...

Developed, Developing, and other outdated terminology

Hans Rosling was an impressive public speaker, with not just an ability to distill complex topics into easy to understand stories, but to do so with a flair of showmanship. One of the many lessons in those stories was the fact that the world is no longer divided into “developed” and “developing” economies, but is instead is now a world with a continuum of incomes. What...

The biggest business is… small business

The biggest employer in your neighborhood is likely not one big factory or hospital, nor the government or military. It’s unlikely any one corporation at all. The biggest employer nearly everywhere are the multitude of small businesses that operate the plethora of services needed to make up the modern lifestyle.

Africa is Next


China had its economic boom… and this year saw its population peak at 1.4 billion and shrinking. India is in the middle of its economic boom… passing up China’s population with another 1.4 billion population, but with that population growth slowing down. Africa is the other place on earth with 1.4 billion people. Not a single country, but 54 countries, but also an area far...

The SDGs require Capitalism


Seven years ago I wrote and delivered a talk about how we leave the big problems of the worlds for the philanthropists to solve, but they just don’t have enough money to do that. The 2020 update to that talk is below. Short story shorter… the total amount of money in philanthropy is less than $1 trillion, less than the value of just Microsoft alone, a tiny fraction of the total...

Warren Buffett was still Retired in 1974

Warren Buffett retires

After 12 years of crushing Lehman Brothers, the Massachusetts Trust, and the Dow Industrial Average, Warren Buffett retired from investing in May 1969, and he was still telling people he was retired in 1974. If you missed my first blog post about Buffett’s retirement, best to start with that one, which left off at the cliffhanger asking how he got from there to Berkshire Hathaway. Halfway...


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