2014/04/12/The Super Rich Are Hiding Vast Sums of Money

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The first study, The Distribution of US Wealth, Capital Income and Returns since 1913, shows a number of deep, systematic trends that suggest capitalism hasn't just failed – they suggest it died, and was replaced by whatever Hanseatic doppelganger that's been masquerading as capitalism since Ronald Reagan's voodoo economics and libertarian classical economic theology resurrected the zombie of feudalism. Since the 1980s, there's been a huge increase in wealth and capital gains in the top 0.01% of the population, while the bottom 99.9% has seen no increase.

So, we know the 0.01% are getting wealthier. Where's that wealth going? That's what the other study published in Quarterly Journal of Economics, by Gabriel Zucman, attempted to find out. Called the Missing Wealth of Nations, the report reveals where the money is going: to overseas tax havens, and in a greater amount than previously thought. Krugman discusses this point:

"What Zucman points out is that we have international data on investment positions, with each country reporting its assets abroad and foreign-owned assets at home. But the numbers don't add up: globally, liabilities are substantially larger than assets. That's mathematically impossible, but Zucman shows that it's what will appear in the statistics if a lot of money is run through offshore havens, so that the ownership doesn't show up in anyone's national statistics. And he uses other data and information to show that this is by far the most compelling explanation."