How to Tell Good Billionaires from Bad Ones: Trump, Zuckerberg, Gates, and Buffett

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).

Technology & Innovation

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.

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How's the Economy Doing? Ask a Local

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.

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Politics & Current Affairs

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.