THE DON JONES INDEX…

 

GAINS POSTED in GREEN

LOSSES POSTED in RED

 

           8/7/17…  15,687.07

         7/31/17…  15,633.58

6/27/13…  15,000.00

 

 

 (THE DOW JONES INDEX: 8/7/17… 22,092.31; 7/31/17… 21,830.31; 6/27/13… 15,000.00)

 

LESSON for August 7, 2017   POOR RICHARD’S (and a few of his wealthy cronies’) ALMANACK!

 

And now  a few days late due to computer problems (those damn Russians!)…we come to what many believe to be the meat of Mr. Franklin’s advice – the raw, red meat of money.

Money… who has it, who doesn’t and how them as have use it… has fascinated human beings since the cavemen traded shards of flint and shells for roots and berries, dead animals and (for those of a religio-artistic bent) commissioning a cave painting in the hope of securing a good hunting season.

No mistaking it, the cut and dried measure of a man in America and in the world is the size of his wallet… and Americans are measured by their Per Capita Income.  We have no less than three questors after what Don Jones makes (or steals) in a year, courtesy of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and our on Central Intelligence Agency.  To apply only the average to our index would be flying in the face of reality, counting all three might be evidence of an incipient and unwelcome plutophilia, so we counted the average score twice (in other words, two thirds of the individual survey results).

The richest nation in the world… considering only cold hard cash…was the oil-sodden kingdom of Qatar.  No wonder that hungry neighbors… including such poverty cases as the Saudis, Kuwaitis and Emirates… are sabre rattling, their throwback to Iraq 1’s adventures a minor key annoyance to America, behind that of the Russians and the North Koreans.

The United States finished twelfth.  Not the greatest… but not bad, considering most of the higher finishers were higher European or Gulf Oil states with small, homogenic populations.  Our problems occur later

The next other factors included those inevitable dark twins of economics - the “Misery Index” of inflation and unemployment.

Drawing mainly from the Central Intelligence Agency, but also from a few other sources, the compilers Photius and Theodora tracked unemployment and inflation in some 200 countries, from the very large to the very small.

Unemployment has been dropping here, but still remains a problem.  We ranked 49th, although possibly higher now, given the recent Trump-fueled hiring.  The lowest unemployment was in the former Communist hellhole of Cambodia, now remaking itself as an outsourcing lair for China and a sex-trafficking hotspot.  The lowest… in fact, negative… inflation was in Greece, where it seems that nobody has any more money to buy things.

Don’t blame Don Jones for our lack of status.  The United States ranked 5th in productivity among the truncated OECD roster of rich white countries.  The winner was Luxembourg, that station between France and Germany

Equality, or its lack, has been much in vogue as a topic for the talking heads, and the best measure of it, to date, is the GINI index, a measure of statistical dispersion intended to represent the income distribution of a nation's residents, and the most commonly used measure of inequality. It was developed by the Italian statistician and sociologist Corrado Gini in 1912.

If Don Jones wished to journey to the most equal nation in the world, he and the family would have to travel to the small, ex-Communist republic of Slovenia (which, as it turn out, was the native soil of the First Lady, Melania Trump).  Does the concept of equality mean that wives will be more demanding than usual… it so, the Donald may want to curb his tirades and tweets.

Despite our high productivity, the United States finished a dismal 82nd in equality and this will only keep going down should the Republicans ever pass their tax and budget bills.

The final two Indices remind us that national governments have to be held accountable; these are issues that primarily concern the national governments and their guardians.

The budgetary category ranks those financial wizards who tax and spend – the thriftiest souls in the world are on the tiny island of Anguilla – so tiny in fact that it failed to meet the minimum number of ranked categories for inclusion.  America… not so good, 52nd/

Finally, the question arises among those fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to have gained the attention of the financial ratings analysts, planners, journals and investors who follow the Standard and Poor index of bond ratings.  We’re still doing alright, just below the top eleven triple A countries, with a double A plus rank (although we also note that they have determined our prognosis to be negative).

And, the winner?

They didn’t finish first in any category except in an eleven-way tie for the Standard and Poor ratings but, for centuries, the rest of the world has acknowledged the Swiss to be at the apex of the moneyhandling mob. They crushed the Scandinavians and the Gulf States by a wide margin, and put plenty of distance between themselves and the runners up… Germany and Luxembourg.

Down at the bottom?  Gambia… worse, even, than Afghanistan.  (More recent conflict states where questioneers did not venture included Syria and North Korea.)

It was far from a negative week for both the Dow and the Don… both soared to record highs.  Don Jones benefitted from a lower unemployment rate and an upsurge in our import/export balance… and hey, there’s not one but two (2!) record lottery jackpots alive this week.

 

 

 

So – here are the results!

 

 

Per Capita Income (as measured by… )

 

 

World Bank

Interntl. Monetary Fund

Central Intelligence Agency

Prodtvty.

Inflation

 Unemplt.

Equality

Budget

Solvency

 

 

Average Score

Country

Rank

Int $

Rank

Int $

Rank

Int $

P.C.I. Avg.

GDP per hrs. worked

CIA (via Photius.com)

CIA (via Theodora)

Via GINI (See above)

Surplus or Deficit (-)

Standard & Poor

 

Rank

Sum

Rank

Rate

Rank

Rate

Rank

Rate

Rank

Rate

Rank

Rating

Prognosis

1

12.25

Switzerland

9

59,561

7

62,882

12

59,400

9

10

56.5

3

-0.34

27

3.40

17

28.7

22

0.40

1t

AAA

STABLE

2

18.9

Germany

18

48,111

16

48,730

19

48,200

19

8

59.5

19

0.84

42

4.30

13

27.0

20

0.60

11t

AAA

NEGATIVE

3

19.5

Luxembourg

2

104,003

2

105,882

2

102,000

2

1

83.6

13

0.54

79

6.70

27

30.4

21

0.50

11t

AAA

NEGATIVE

4

23.4

Sweden

15

49,836

15

49,175

17

49,700

16

12

56.3

30

1.39

80

6.90

4

24.9

28

-0.40

1t

AAA

STABLE

5

24.5

Denmark

20

47,985

14

49,496

23

46,600

20

6

63.5

10

0.4

40

4.20

3

24.8

48

-2.50

1t

AAA

STABLE

6

24.5

Norway

6

69,249

8

59,302

9

69,300

7

3

79.1

105

3.53

50t

4.80

11

26.8

12

2.90

1t

AAA

STABLE

7

26.0

Qatar

1

127,660

1

127,523

1

129,700

1

 

 

41

1.9

2

0.70

91

-7.80

20

AA

STABLE

8

26.0

United Arab Emirates

8

67,871

5

72,419

10

67,700

8

 

 

22

1.1

15

2.40

83

-6.10

20

AA

STABLE

9

27.0

Australia

17

48,899

17

46,790

18

48,800

17

14

52.7

45

2.1

63

5.80

25

30.3

44

-2.10

1t

AAA

STABLE

10

27.0

Ireland

7

69,231

6

68,883

8

69,400

6

2

79.7

5

-0.1

89

8.00

30

31.3

31

-0.80

47

BBB+

STABLE

11

27.1

Austria

19

48,005

13

50,078

21

47,900

18

11

53.8

29

1.35

67

6.10

20

29.2

37

-1.40

17

AA+

NEGATIVE

12

27.25

Netherlands

13

51,049

12

50,898

15

50,800

14

9

61.7

58

2.4

69

6.20

6

25.1

37

-1.40

11t

AAA

NEGATIVE

13

30.1

Korea, South

30

37,740

29

35,751

33

37,900

30

30

31.8*

28

1.3

34

4.00

24

30.2

35

-1.20

 

 

 

14

30.9

Finland

26

42,165

20

43,053

29

41,800

25

13

51.4

15

0.65

102

9.10

12

26.8

44

-2.10

11t

AAA

NEGATIVE

15

32.4

Canada

22

46,437

19

44,025

24

46,200

21

18

48.9

34

1.49

84

7.10

32

32.1

48

-2.50

1t

AAA

STABLE

16

33.4

United States

11

57,436

9

57,467

13

57,300

12

5

62.9

38

1.69

49

4.70

82

45.0

52

-2.90

17

AA+

NEGATIVE

17

33.5

Belgium

23

45,047

18

46,383

25

44,900

22

4

64.4*

40

1.77

98

8.40

7

25.9

50

-2.70

25

AA

NEGATIVE

18

33.5

Japan

27

41,275

22

41,470

30

38,900

27

20

41.4*

7

0.1

25

3.20

61

37.9

73

-5.00

30

AA-

NEGATIVE

19

34.0

St. Kitts and Nevis

49

25,940

42

26,686

55

25,500

49

 

 

17

0.7

45

4.50

 

 

10

3.90

 

 

 

20

34.1

France

25

42,314

23

41,466

28

42,400

26

7

61.6

12

0.53

107

9.70

23

30.1

55

-3.20

17

AA+

NEGATIVE

21

35.0

United Kingdom

24

42,481

21

42,609

27

42,500

24

15

47.5*

66

2.6

55

5.10

34

32.4

61

-3.80

1t

AAA

STABLE

22

36.0

Taiwan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

54

2.3

31

3.90

39

33.6

30

-0.60

26

AA-

STABLE

23

36.1

Iceland

16

49,136

11

51,399

20

48,100

15

19

40.5*

146

5.3

19

2.70

15

28.0

3

12.50

57

BBB-

STABLE

24

36.3

Singapore

3

90,151

3

87,856

3

90,100

3

 

 

124

4.4

14

2.10

90

46.4

19

0.70

1t

AAA

STABLE

25

37.0

Malta

28

39,834

27

37,899

32

37,900

28

 

 

61

2.5

47

4.60

15

27.7

34

-1.10

46

A-

NEGATIVE

26

38.0

Israel

34

35,179

26

37,901

38

34,800

33

23

35.1

4

-0.3

54

5.00

77

42.8

48

-2.50

32

A+

STABLE

27

41.1

Spain

33

36,416

28

36,310

36

36,500

32

17

47.3

16

0.68

170

19.70

51

35.9

64

-4.10

51

BBB+

NEGATIVE

28

41.6

Kuwait

5

71,887

7

71,300

5

 

 

87

3.2

23

3.00

38

33.4

113

-16.50

20

AA

STABLE

29

43.3

Romania

58

22,348

49

23,626

61

22,300

37

 

 

21

1.1

77

6.70

14

27.3

51

-2.80

66

BB+

STABLE

30

43.5

Italy

32

36,833

25

38,161

37

36,300

31

16

47.4

6

0.09

131

11.40

32

31.9

49

-2.60

51

BBB+

NEGATIVE

31

46.4

Sri Lanka

93

12,262

85

12,316

107

11,200

94

 

 

181

7.5

44

4.50

99

49.0

78

-5.50

85

B+

STABLE

32

47.2

Croatia

57

22,795

50

23,596

60

22,400

57

 

 

78

2.9

150

15.80

32

32.0

48

-2.50

57

BBB-

STABLE

33

47.4

Slovenia

37

32,085

31

32,885

41

32,000

38

22

36.9

62

2.5

132

11.60

1

23.7

50

-2.70

34

A+

NEGATIVE

34

47.5

Czech Republic

36

33,232

30

34,711

40

33,200

36

25

34.4

37

1.54

61

5.60

5

24.9

29

-0.50

20

AA

STABLE

35

48.0

Estonia

41

29,313

37

29,365

45

29,500

42

31

30.0

90

3.3

73

6.50

50

35.6

26

-0.20

30

AA-

NEGATIVE

36

49.4

Bahrain

14

50,704

16

50,300

10

 

 

80

3.0

38

4.10

 

 

109

-13.90

 

 

 

37

49.4

Portugal

42

28,933

35

30,624

46

28,500

43

26

32.7

14

0.58

130

11.30

43

34.2

47

-2.40

 

 

 

38

49.6

Brunei

4

76,884

4

77,441

5

79,700

4

 

 

23

1.2

81

6.90

 

 

111

-15.90

 

 

 

39

51.5

New Zealand

31

37,294

24

39,059

35

37,100

29

21

37.8

24

1.2

57

5.10

53

36.2

23

0.30

20

AA

STABLE

40

51.6

San Marino

10

59,058

11

65,300

11

 

 

84

3.1

100

8.70

52

-2.90

41

52.25

Slovak Republic

39

31,339

34

30,632

43

31,200

40

24

38.3*

108

3.6

116

9.80

8

26.0

47

-2.40

35

A

STABLE

42

54.2

Palau

79

15,319

71

15,373

82

15,300

78

 

 

70

2.7

39

4.20

6

8.80

 

 

 

43

56.7

Latvia

50

25,710

44

26,031

54

25,700

50t

32

26.4

60

2.5

113

9.60

 

 

35

-1.20

57

BBB-

STABLE

44

59.1

Cyprus

35

34,970

32

32,580

39

34,400

35

 

 

95

3.4

134

11.80

45

34.8

34

-1.10

69

BB+

NEGATIVE

45

59.3

Mexico

64

18,938

61

17,862

68

18,900

65

35

18.5

93

3.31

43

4.40

96

48.3

53

-3.00

 

 

 

46

60.2

Myanmar

127

5,832

121

5,773

137

5,200

131

 

 

82

2.4

50t

4.80

 

 

53

-3.00

 

 

 

47

60.4

Kazakhstan

52

25,145

46

25,264

53

25,700

50t

 

 

143

5.2

62

5.70

18

28.9

53

-3.00

47

BBB+

STABLE

48

61.0

Bulgaria

61

20,327

58

19,199

66

20,100

63

 

 

55

2.4

104

8.90

49

35.4

38

-1.50

 

 

 

49

61.1

Thailand

73

16,888

64

16,917

77

16,800

73

 

 

85

3.1

4

0.90

97

48.4

49

-2.60

47

BBB+

STABLE

50

61.4

Antigua/Barbuda

51

25,157

54

22,414

57

24,100

55

 

 

31

1.4

126

11.00

 

 

40

-1.70

 

 

 

51

61.4

Chile

55

24,113

48

23,960

58

24,000

54

33

23.7*

79

2.93

83

7.00

107

52.1

49

-2.60

32

A+

STABLE

52

61.4

China

78

15,399

70

15,535

81

15,400

77

 

 

54

2.3

41

4.20

94

46.9

61

-3.80

26

AA-

STABLE

53

61.4

Poland

43

27,764

39

27,811

48

27,700

45

 

 

107

3.6

112

9.60

35

32.4

51

-2.80

35

A

STABLE

54

61.6

Hungary

45

27,482

43

26,681

49

27,200

47

28

31.0

152

5.6

76

6.60

27

30.6

47

-2.40

69

BB+

NEGATIVE

55

63.6

Moldova

132

5,328

125

5,334

142

5,000

134

 

 

131

4.5

70

6.30

16

28.5

47

-2.40

 

 

 

56

63.7

Malaysia

46

27,267

40

27,681

50

27,200

46

 

 

140

5.1

26

3.30

89

46.2

57

-3.40

42

A-

STABLE

57

63.9

Saudi Arabia

12

55,158

10

54,431

14

54,100