May 23, 2017

The prospect of Occupy Silicon Valley

Apple and Google are now valued higher than the GDP of all but America's two largest cities, according to a new BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research report.

Data: BofA Merrill Lynch Global Investment Strategy, Bloomberg, Bureau of Economic Analysis, BofAML estimates; Notes: Current market cap vs. 2016 real GDP; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

What it means: There is a growing concentration of wealth among a small number of tech companies that are mostly based in the same geographic regions (Silicon Valley and the Pacific Northwest). And that could ultimately lead to social unrest, particularly when juxtaposed against Trump-era economic nationalist. From the BAML report, which is titled Occupy Silicon Valley:

"It could ultimately lead to populist calls for redistribution of the increasingly concentrated wealth of Silicon Valley as the gap between tech capital & human capital grows ever-wider."

What it doesn't mean: Amazon is not, for example, actually more valuable than its home base of Seattle, as metropolitan GDP doesn't account for broader economic or security values (let alone real estate, infrastructure, etc.).

Go deeper

World Bank cuts growth forecast for fourth time in a row

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The World Bank cut its global growth forecast for the fourth straight time on Wednesday, reducing expectations by 0.2 percentage points each year for 2019, 2020 and 2021.

"Global economic growth is forecast to edge up to 2.5% in 2020 as investment and trade gradually recover from last year’s significant weakness but downward risks persist. ... U.S. growth is forecast to slow to 1.8% this year, reflecting the negative impact of earlier tariff increases and elevated uncertainty."
— World Bank statement on its Global Economic Prospects report
Go deeperArrowJan 9, 2020

Tesla reports record 112,000 deliveries in 2019's 4th quarter

Tesla headquarters in Silicon Valley. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Tesla announced Friday that it produced almost 105,000 cars in 2019's fourth quarter and delivered roughly 112,000 — both records for the Silicon Valley electric automaker.

Why it matters: The deliveries substantially beat Wall Street estimates and enabled the company to meet its "ambitious" year-end sales goals, per CNBC.

Go deeperArrowJan 3, 2020

The world's fast-growing mountain of debt

The world's total debt surged by some $9 trillion in the first three quarters of 2019, according to data from the Institute of International Finance, bringing the world's total debt load to $253 trillion, or 322% of its GDP — a record high.

Why it matters: In times of economic strength, economists exhort countries to pare back their debt burdens and pay it down to protect against future unrest and downturn.

Go deeperArrowJan 13, 2020