Billionaires: what have they done for us lately? Well, some of them have developed the tech you're reading this on (scoring good points), but others have gamed the system and nepotismed their way to the bank (bad, bad billionaires).
Ruchir Sharma, head of emerging markets at Morgan Stanley and a longtime columnist for Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, and the Economic Times of India, is looking at economies in a unique way — he's studying certain nations' billionaires. "That really tells you about how a country is evolving, and where income and equality is becoming too big an issue, and where could the population really begin to revolt, in some way, against wrong kind of wealth creation," he says.
Ruchir Sharma: Always listen to what the locals have to say about the economy as opposed to global investors.
My mandate is to look at all emerging markets which represent about 80 percent of the global population. So it’s a fairly wide universe that I end up covering. So how do you define emerging markets? The definition that I use is typically about any country with a per capita income of less than around $25,000 is seen as an emerging market. That’s the way that we sort of identify it. And a bulk of the world falls in that territory as far as population is concerned. But, of course, as far as economic size is concerned, the developed world is still much bigger in terms of countries with a per capita income of more than $25,000 because that’s about 60 percent of the world.
We know the fact that China’s economy today is about 40 percent the size of the US. But such has been the fear here of rising China and the fact that China’s done so well that it’s sort of eaten away into the psychological confidence.
Ruchir Sharma is head of emerging markets and chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. A longtime columnist, he now contributes frequently to The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Foreign Affairs and other publications. His first book, Breakout Nations, appeared in April 2012 and has since been credited for accurately foretelling the slowdown in the celebrated “BRIC” economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China. Ruchir’s next book, THE RISE AND FALL OF NATIONS: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World is now available. He lives in New York City.
Ruchir’s other interests include athletics and a serious commitment to running. Despite his extensive travels, he tries not to miss a single day of training no matter where he is in the world. He regularly trains with his former Olympics coach and competes in sprinting events. In 2011, he represented India in the World Masters Athletic championship in Sacramento. Ruchir also has a keen interest in wildlife and in international cinema and makes it a point to attend major film festivals anytime he can find a moment from his investing, writing and running.