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In , Citigroup came out with a brochure for investors called “Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances.” It urged investors. Maybe I’m the last person who’s hearing about the Citigroup “plutonomy memos”, but they’re blowning me away. Wait, now that I look around. The full report is available here MarPlutonomy-Report-Leaked-Citigroup-Memo-Part1.

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Citigroup wrote memos in and addressed to investors, basically saying that the world is dividing up more and more into a small group of rich people who drive the economy, surrounded by a large number of poor people whose economic interests can be safely ignored. Disruptive technology-driven productivity gains, creative financial innovation, capitalist- friendly cooperative governments, an international dimension of immigrants and overseas conquests invigorating wealth creation, the rule of law, and patenting inventions.

Often these wealth waves involve great complexity, exploited best by the rich and educated of the time. Of course, Naomi Klein, being a journalist rather than an investment banker, spent time with the victims of all these policies and thus was pretty pissed off about them.

Plutonomy and the Precariat | HuffPost

Well anyway, nice to know that great minds think alike, as it were. Ever since they were leaked to the internet a few years back, Citigroup has been trying desperately to hide these memos from the public.

More info about that campaign here. So what makes Citigroup want to shut this story up?


Well, it could be the above quote from memo 1 a point made several times throughout the documentexplicitly linking the trend of growing income inequality to the stuff neoliberal politicians are always trying to push on governments.

Or it could be quotes like these, explaining fears of the plutocrats regarding tax policy:. Corporate tax rates could rise, choking off returns to the private sector, and personal taxation rates could rise — dividend, capital-gains, and inheritance tax rises would hurt the plutonomy. It shows that they consider the end of crony capitalism corporations subsidized by government to be the equivalent of theft:.


However this does not mean that governments are incapable of revoking property rights. While this tends to be something more often seen in countries with a shorter history of capitalist democracy, such as the Ukraine attempts to undo prior privatizationsor Russia where some of our clients believe events surrounding Mikhail Khodorovsky to be a form of nationalizationit can happen in the strangest of places.

For example, inUK government withdrawal of financial support bankrupted Railtrack, the UK rail operator, effectively re-nationalizing railway assets on the cheap.

Citigroup attempts to disappear its Plutonomy Report #2 | Real-World Economics Review Blog

Perhaps one reason that societies allow plutonomy, is because enough of the electorate believe they have a chance of becoming a Plutoparticipant. Why kill it off, if you can join it? But if voters feel they cannot participate, they are more likely to divide up the wealth pie, rather than aspire to being truly rich.

Nice point to remember when your bourgeois-liberal friend starts ranting about those horrible irresponsible Americans with their maxed-out credit cards and gas-guzzling SUVs. And to not worry about the stuff news reports on the economy always talk about, like lack of consumer confidence and high gas prices. Download a copy of these memos.

These memos prove the opposite, that the elite are perfectly happy to let us drown. Show them to your conservative friends, the ones who believe we still live in a society where everyone can be rich if they just work hard enough. Send them to all your local media outlets. Low-end developed market labor might not have much economic power, but it does have equal voting power with the rich.


I just learned of these reports from another WordPress blogger. Thank you most sincerely for the links. I have saved copies to my hard drive and will reblog this post on my blog as well. If only it were that. Regarding your closing quote about equal voting power with the rich, I would inreasingly question this. Still true, as per evidence by Thomas Piketty and others.

Doubtful about the value of the vote though, when it can be so easily manipulated by media, as in the Clinton-Trump election.

Thanks for posting — you might like this one too: You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account.

Notify me of new comments via email. They posit a few reasons for this change: Or it could be quotes like these, explaining fears of the plutocrats regarding tax policy: It shows that they consider the end of crony capitalism corporations subsidized by government to be the equivalent of theft: And of course, to buy lleaked stocks.

Download the Citigroup plutonomy memos here: Richard William Posner permalink. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Email required Address never made public.

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