Why you should care
Because money makes things happen. For better or worse.
Money: We’re always trying to find new ways to make it and hoard it — at home and in business. To save cash, oil-giant Saudi Arabia is diversifying; to make cash, India is investing in tech companies. In China, millionaires are spending it — to secure a better life abroad for their families. And in the U.K., a new report has flagged a worrying trend in personal savings, one that’s about to get political. Here’s how money is moving in four countries around the globe.
Attention: The world’s largest oil producer is running out of its black gold. With oil wells predicted to run dry as early as 2030, Saudi Arabia is trying, in fits and starts, to diversify its economy. It has a long way to go. Oil revenues were projected to reach $312 billion last year and account for almost half of the economy. As OZY’s Nathan Siegel tells us, Saudi Arabia and its businesspeople are taking a number of steps, from opening its stock exchange to investing in solar, poultry, dairy and petrochemicals. The hope is to stitch together a safety net. Read the story here.
Can money buy happiness? Some wealthy Chinese families still think so — if only to buy a ticket out of bad air, a lack of clean water and constant food and beverage safety scandals. There is a growing trend among the country’s richest to use their wealth to move themselves and their families abroad — primarily in the form of investment visas. And a number of countries are opening their doors … provided the millionaires bring their money with them. It’s something of a bidding war in reverse. And one country — for $4.65 million of investment to apply for permanent residency — wins the prize: Australia. Terms for other countries vary (the U.S., for example, will take just $1 million for a green card, offering residence). But if it’s not happiness they’re buying, sounds like they’re still getting a lot for their money. Read the story here.
It’s a hip-sounding name for London’s new socioeconomic substrata: the Endies, aka “Employed but with No Disposable Income or Savings.” But these aren’t 20-somethings dwelling in their childhood bedrooms; they are grown singles and couples with kids — and no financial safety net. And while it’d be easy to dismiss the Endies’ struggles as First World — downgrading from slight luxury goods to bargain supermarkets, relying on TV and the Internet instead of theaters — a new report paints a gray picture for Britain’s middle class as a whole, and an even drearier one for Londoners. And the ultimate upshot may be political. Read the story here.
Remember mega-companies like Infosys and Wipro, which rode the software service tidal wave that took India by storm more than two decades ago? Well, in a swiftly changing tech landscape, the old Bangalore guard is tryna pull a 50 Cent and stay relevant. Innovative, product-driven business is the new name of the game — and young, agile startups like Flipkart and ZipDial are the flag bearers. Here are the established multinationals and budding startups worth training your eyes on. Read the story here.