Visualizing The Wealth Of Nations

Tyler Durden's picture

In the past we have explored the life-cycle of a sovereign nation, and, perhaps more importantly when allocating capital to specific idiosyncratic investment ideas, we strongly believe, as Goldman notes below, that the competitive strengths of companies often stem from the advantages of the countries they reside in. These include a combination of resource availability (food, energy, mining and others), demographics, trade positioning, infrastructure quality and above all, the presence of strong, inclusive institutions that encourage innovation. So, what follows is Goldman's attempt to map the various success drivers of the world’s countries. Of course, the components of each category aren't exhaustive (and in some cases they are they overlapping), but we hope it is a good starting point from which to understand the fundamental advantages that some countries enjoy over others. Still think the U.S. is the greatest nation in the world? Try telling the Scandinavians...

We divide the drivers into four categories:

Patents per capita, R&D as a percentage of GDP, venture capital as a percentage of GDP and the birth rate of companies.

Confidence in national institutions, days aken to enforce a contract, the cost of starting a business and the GINI co-efficient that measures income inequality.

Net crude oil exports/(imports) as a percentage of consumption, per capita food surplus/(deficit), copper + iron ore + aluminum surplus/(deficit) and retirees as a percentage of population.

Transport (airports per capita, railways per sq km), electricity production per capita and internet penetration.

All percent-rank scores are shown at the back.


The overall scorecard...


The World...(click image for huge version)


and a close up on Europe... (click image for huge version)


Source: Goldman Sachs

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DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I was very impressed with Korea when I went over there in May.  Not much in resources (and the demographics are not good, I just learned that today elsewhere here at ZH), but a well-educated and hard-working people.  Great technology, all of outdoor Seoul has free WiFi.  Great general manufacturing technology as well.

And their pop culture is catching on in Asia and even worldwide.  "Gangnam Style" (by PSY) has been watched almost 1,000,000,000 times there at Youtube, all time No. 1 YouTube video.


I've seen a fair amount of some countries in Europe.  If Korea keeps doing what it's doing, Korea will leave much of Europe in the dirt, as they will the USA.  HYUNDAI is now the Number One (new units sold, not $-value) seller of new cars in Peru.  And Hyundai is getting stronger in Europe and the USA by the month...  Why?  Good cars at good prices.

kaiserhoff's picture

Yes, brilliant innovation.  They have a copy of the ford windstar, which is identical right down to the shades of paint.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Ford and GM manufacture a LOT of their cars in Korea.  Ford Fiesta.  Chevy Aveo.  Both available at US (and I presume European) dealers now.  The Chinese are now copying GM/Daewoo's cars!  The Hyundai Accent is the leader in its class (subcompacts).  Hyundai did not copy that (AFAIK).  Hyundai's BRAND NEW i10 is already on sales and doing well in small-car loving Italy.


Whose technology is Samsung's when it comes to big screen HD LED TVs?  Mmm...  Not Philips!  Whose technology is Samsung's in smart-phones?  Not Nokia, not Ericsson.

kaiserhoff's picture

Hyundai is becoming more competitive.  For a long time they were hopelessly underpowered for American roads.  Haven't driven one in a while.  They have probably addressed that.

Hard to make money in the States without trucks and land yachts.  Everyone likes small cars, for someone else.

OutLookingIn's picture

To say nothing of the KIA Soul.

Tremendously popular in North America.

max2205's picture

1860  Jews in Britain are allowed to vote.

TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

The English branch of the Rothschild's had gained quite a bit of power by then...

Spastica Rex's picture

Hopelessly underpowered for American egos.


kaiserhoff's picture

That too, but it's hard to pick up chicks on a moped, except in Italy.

Mentaliusanything's picture

GM spent a lot of R&D on that "Badge Engineering"

The Koreans are Killing the Japanese at their own game. The Head of VW was heard to say on the latest Hyundia products "No matter how hard we try, we have not the skills the produce vehicles that can compete with the these Truly World Class Cars." 

GeorgeHayduke's picture

"HYUNDAI is now the Number One..."

Reminds me of a Robert Schimmel joke: "I was in an adult book store and picked up a magazine called Oriental Cocksuckers. I looked inside and saw a picture of my Hyundai dealer."

tickhound's picture

Where's the finish line and how do you win?

max2205's picture

1883  Karl Marx dies, John Maynard Keynes and Benito Mussolini are born.

Atomizer's picture



A majority of these fuck sticks are scamming from their assholes. Allowed me to prove it. Let’s just start here for now.


These out of cash motherfuckers will sell their children in order to keep themselves above short of money..


thisandthat's picture

Stats: the art (science?) of lying with numbers.

q99x2's picture

Once the CIA implemented full takeover operations with the NWO banksters during Daddy Bush's reign it has been all downhill for the US.

Yen Cross's picture

  I'm gonna make this really simple/  Hugo Montenegro - ? The Good, the Bad & the Ugly ? - YouTube

  The race to the GOLD  has begun Bitchez.

Body of Lies's picture

I hope you right ... but it would be nice if the price were to go up as the race proceeds. I think the FED (+primary dealers) sell paper gold at every juncture while the folks pile into physical.

TumblingDice's picture

What exactly is confidence in national institutions? They keep using that word but I don't think they know exactly what it means. Mindless trust in ponzi =/= confidence in institutions. Hard to see SKorea at 4% when the culture there calls for respect for elders and authority. Also, SKorea receiving a low score for transportation is absurd considering the state of the public transportation system there.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

+ 1  Yes, their infrastructure (what I saw anyway) looks rather good.  Incheon Airport.  Their equivalent of our Interstate Highways.  Seoul's Metro, bigger than NYC's IIRC.  Free WiFi everywhere in Seoul.

TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

Go further out into the countryside to get a feel for their infrastructure.  But watch your step, the oxen shit all over the road as they pull the ox-carts, just like in the old, old days.


But the country bumpkins do use some technology, for example, they take the crap out of their pit toilets and spread it mechanically on the vegetable patch.  Make sure your food is cooked well while visiting Korea.

Spastica Rex's picture

CNN told me yesterday that the only reason the Nords do so well is that they ride on the coattails of America. CNN told me that I can tell this is true by comparing the number of new patents awarded  each year in the US to those awarded in Nordlandia. American innovation is the only reason that the Nords can have such a high standard of living, and if America ever tried to adopt Nordic ways, it would devastate both the US and Nordlandia.

That's what CNN told me.

Oh, and Finnish-style public schools wouldn't be workable in America. Even though their kids score the highest in the world.

blunderdog's picture

    Oh, and Finnish-style public schools wouldn't be workable in America. Even though their kids score the highest in the world.

Can't argue with that.  We'd have to put real money into that shit, and you know that'll never happen.  We need that money to pay for gas.

Body of Lies's picture

Nice to be able to teach where everyone works together ... In Ca, where curriculum changes every other year, English is the second language, every teacher needs a team of lawyers (since every student has one), an education-is-good ethic is not shared by the community, and communism not socialism is preached ... it is not the money, it's a generation trained in "it's not winning that counts, it's that you participate that really matters" (until you graduate of course) 

kaiserhoff's picture

I worry about you Rex, but then I worry about all of us.

The Finns are not Scandinavians.  They are something much older and different, especially the women, but you are on to something.  The Scandinavians work more like a large tribe.  Better friends than you dreamed of if they trust you.  Your worst nightmare if you try to fuck them over.  On the other hand, they love fucking.

As I told my sons, marry the girl next door if you want, but not until after you test drive an import or two.

I've probably made enough enemies for one night.  The truth always gets me in trouble.

Spastica Rex's picture

Yeah, Finns are Uralic if you want to get specific, and I never used the term "Scandinavian." On the other hand, applying the term "Scandinavian" to the geographic region is pretty standard.

I knew a tall blonde Finn in graduate school - she was Sami, actually. That was before I was married. I know quite well what you're talking about.

jannewmx's picture

Airports per million people? What a useless stat.

Yen Cross's picture

Auto Club will report Holiday travel up/ based on auto statistics, as opposed to flying statistics.

 Travelers either can't afford, or are afraid to fly... we can go into real non-core inflation, and Airline fuel hedges if you want?

Joe moneybags's picture

The U.S. is below average in Natural Recources?  Naturally, Canda, Australia and Russia lead the pack, but I'll take our climate, arable farm land, fresh water recources, low population density, and mineral wealth over about everyone else.

Yen Cross's picture

 Joe you need to hit the books/ The U.S. will be a net exporter of fuel ( nat gas/light sweet crude) in the next 5 years!

  What really peves me is that oil companies don't build more refiners!  It's not about the barges sitting in Contango, It's about forward contracts on proven reserves that are being shipped offshore and hyper inflating fuel costs in the United States!

 Just like algorythmic trading, I've studied the crude extraction market!  I'm only getting better bitchez

Atomizer's picture

I always love a thumbs down based on my threat to expose. Well cunt lick troll, here’s the info

Access to Database


Now try to explain your fiscal cliff bullshit. Frankly, your just looting to cover your losses. This is no longer a game! When a barrel of a gun enters your mouth, tell us about your bad international gambling bets.. Blows a kiss to you..


Waydown's picture

I can't believe it: Wasn't Socialism supposed to be "bad"? The ugly Scandinavian regimes (and Finland), the hearth of state control, high taxes and whatnot, seem to have the upper hand, at least for the time being.

Matt's picture

They are beating the system by having:

A) lots of resources

B) very little immigration

C) nearly Zero Population Growth

DeliciousSteak's picture

Somehow the lutheran work ethic combined with views of extremely restrictive government regulation and intervention seems to work. Nordic countries are true nanny states where the role of the state is understood completely differently than the US. The state is like a parent and a provider, completely anti-freedom and anti-American. Perhaps it is simply the homogeneous populations combined with cultural homogeneity that makes this work. Marxism, general equality of the workers and a class free society were a big thing in the Nordic countries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and influences these countries to this day through social democracy.

Matt's picture

When all their oil and other non-renewable resources run out, we will see just how much of their wealth comes from work ethics and a homogenous society.

Body of Lies's picture

All soon to be Islamic States of Northern Europe ... and their scores in all categories will plummet

TPTB_r_TBTF's picture



Some ZeroHeads negged you for telling the Truth.


Griffin's picture

Finland went trough a terrible depression recently, Sweden had a major banking collapse, Iceland was totally wiped out.

All those countries are doing just fine now, possibly benefiting from experience, something that may last a few years until the system we use for politics and economic control forces us to repeat the same mistakes.

Economies crash all the time, this is always to be expected.

The reason is the underlying system, it is severely flawed, and the reason for that is that the people who made the system are far from being prefect.

So until we have a crash proof system, economies all over the world will take turns crashing.


I think that the first step to fix this problem is to stop being scared of everything and avoid painting everything in dark colors.

The first step towards freedom is to free your mind, then you can start taking the shackles of your arms and legs.




LoneuhRanger's picture

At a 9% birthrate for new companies Canada is kicking Greece's ass by fucking near double!

Course, most of them new Canadian corps are making rubber bullets and kevlar undies in prep for future G20 parties.


Acet's picture

Patents as a measure of innovation are totally bogus: in some countries *cough* US *cough* there has been an extreme relaxation of criteria of eligibility for patent protection (i.e. patents are given out for things that are not innovative, are obvious to a practicioner in the area or simply are copies of somebody else's idea) which boosts the count of patents on those countries (and brings us things like software patents, business methods patents or, more in general, patents for such innovative concepts as the rounded-courner square or pinch-to-zoom).

There are already quite a number of studies showing that in many areas or when broadly worded, patents actually hinder innovation, not promote it.


Yen Cross's picture

 I just spent over an hour slamming my fingers on the keypad, trying to disprove Tylers charts/

 I couldn't! Tylers are spot on.  ( Play GOD) at your own risk Bitchez/ I have charts to study before that Japanese election ends!

Truenorth179's picture

Canadian girls up here say "save a tree, eat a beaver".  Land of the free, and well informed.  Don't even think about it, we're armed, even if it's just ww2 lee-enfields.

dunce's picture

Lies, damned lies and statistics, but we have fallen because our government has become more oppressive every year and soon we will be just another socialist cesspool.

Joe A's picture

The source is Goldman Sachs so the title should be "visualizing the wealth of nations that GS can plunder".

Svendblaaskaeg's picture

Average score 73% ..

.. so why do I buy PM's instead of Danish Stocks??

swisssammy's picture

Suprised not to see any data on Israel...