Billionaire lists are usually seen as little more than financial voyeurism. They tell us who’s up, who’s down, and let us dream about we would do with all of those zeroes.
But Ruchir Sharma of Morgan Stanley has developed a more practical, economic use for billionaire lists. Sharma, head of emerging markets at Morgan Stanley Investment Management and the author of the book " Breakout Nations ," uses billionaire lists to gauge various country's growth rates and competitiveness.
“If a country is generating too many billionaires relative to the size of its economy, this concentration of wealth can lead to stagnation,” Sharma writes in an op-ed in the Washington Post .
China’s billionaires, he says, never amass fortunes of more than $10 billion each and there is high turnover at the top. “There is reason to believe that Beijing is enforcing an unwritten rule that caps total wealth,” he writes. Meantime, there are far richer billionaires in far smaller economies, like India , Mexico, Russia and Nigeria.Page 1 of 3 | Next Page