The new report from the Deloitte Center for the Edge says that, "return on assets for U.S. companies has steadily fallen to almost one quarter of 1965 levels,at the same time that we have seen continued, albeit much more modest, improvements in labor productivity." Jon Taplin explains, "any productivity gains from the digital revolution have been more than wiped out by our corporate (as well as personal) addiction to debt. To understand this, it's important to grasp the difference between return on equity (the classic Wall Street measurement) and return on assets...By masking their absolutely dismal performance in the last 40 years in ROA, by taking on more and more debt to juice ROE, both Wall Street and America's corporate elite are engaged in a massive shell game, in which the average investor is the mark."
America's Corporate Shell Game (Jon Taplin)
The Shift Index (Deloitte Center for the Edge)
Compared to 75 years ago, Americans spend less on reading, alcohol, tobacco, clothing, and food. They spend more on education, entertainment, and transportation, but the real bank-breaker is how much more Americans spend on housing, even adjusted for inflation.
I’m at Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, CA today (I’m on staff) at the Positive Platform Design Jam, where we had Cornell historian Louis Hyman give a presentation called “Unnatural Capitalism: How the New Deal Reinvented Capitalism and Why We Need to Do It Again.” You can watch a video recording of his […]
UC Irvine economist Peter Navarro, a hand-picked Trump economic advisor: “Navarro has never met Trump in person. And as for speaking with him by phone, he acknowledges, ‘I have never had the pleasure.'”
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