Do you know what it’s time for? No? Well, I’ll tell you.
It’s time for Deutsche Bank’s Torsten Slok to click “update” on his charts and send you the same slide deck he sent you a few months ago. Then he’ll watch as the financial news media marvels at the same visuals they got last quarter, on the way to furiously tweeting them out with headlines like “fantastic new chart from Slok!” seemingly without remembering that they tweeted out the exact same charts like 60 days ago.
I’m just kidding. I mean, I’m not kidding, but it’s not Torsten’s fault. I mean hell, “if it ain’t broke”, right?
Cynicism aside, these decks do a decent job of summarizing some of the prevailing macro themes and on Thursday, Jamie Dimon provides a good hook for the visuals on income inequality in America.
As noted first thing this morning, Dimon’s annual letter finds the famously verbose financier expressing some consternation about growing inequality, which is more than a little ironic coming from the guy who once made fun of an analyst for being relatively poorer than him and who makes 364 times the salary of an “average” JPMorgan employee.
“Of the 150 million Americans working today, approximately 21 million earn between $7.25 an hour (the prevailing federal minimum wage) and $10.10 an hour [and] approximately 42% of American workers make less than $15 an hour,” Dimon laments, adding that “it is hard to argue that you can live on $7-$10 an hour, particularly for families (even if two are working in that household).”
Yes, that is “hard to argue.” And while Jamie does a decent job of assigning blame, he seems to be reluctant to point fingers at the obvious culprit. To wit:
It is surprising that many younger people in the United States, who are effectively going to inherit the wealthiest nation on the planet, seem to be pessimistic about capitalism.
Gee, what could possibly account for that?!
I love that Jamie Dimon thinks the solution to young people being disaffected with capitalism is more capitalism
— Walter White (@heisenbergrpt) April 5, 2018
Anyway, getting back to Torsten and his slides, a record number of families now have zero or negative non-home wealth:
The trend in wealth concentration is laughably egregious (note when the nefarious trend began – can you draw any conclusions from that?):
Despite Trump’s implicit contention that “everyday” Americans own a shit load of stocks, it certainly looks like all-time highs in equity prices are only benefiting the top 10% (net worth falling for everyone but the top 10%):
And here, according to Slok, are the drivers of inequality:
But don’t worry, because I know just the man to fix this and as it turns out, all of the people being left behind have, in their infinite wisdom, decided to elect him President…