2050 Years Of Global GDP History

Tyler Durden's picture

The chart below shows 2050 years of relative global GDP, during which there was a surprisingly flat distribution of the major economic powers: China, India, and the "West", at least until the mid-1800s, when the "Western" Golden Age began primarily courtesy of the industrial revolution, followed by the arrival of the Fed and virtually endless leverage (i.e., borrowing from the future until such time as no more debt capacity remains at either the public or private sectors), only to end in the late 1900s when the marginal balance of power shifted back to Asia, which became the next nexus of debt accumulation (see our earlier post on The Great Recoupling for some additional perspectives).

And while the chart, from Deutsche Bank and PWC, attempts to predict the next 40 years of relative GDP distribution by eventually regressing back to the the long-term trendline, we feel that this is quite an optimistic assumption for a world in which virtually every "developed" country is insolvent, begs for China to ease whenever western inflation sends gas prices soaring making reelection of the incumbent impossible, and is reliant on the indefinite continuation of the USD's reserve status to preserve the last traces of western superiority (not to mention cheap funding of $-trillion deficits as far as the eye can see).

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just a bump in the road 

economics9698's picture

Equality with the $150 purchasing power parity back in the middle ages. BFD.


jeff montanye's picture

speaking of china, looks like even in a dictatorship there is jostling for the job at the top:


Black Markets's picture


This chart is pure bullshit !


Where are the Romans?

Or the Black Death? so you're telling us that when 1/3rd of all europreans died in the space of 2 years their GDP was unchanged??


No reference to the dataset? Is that because it's entirely made up (complete with glaring omissions)?


I quote...

"to skeptically examine and, where necessary, attack the flaccid institution that financial journalism has become."


Widowmaker's picture

The attribution is from banks.  The ENTIRE economy is made up bullshit from fraud-banks since the dawn of records.

AIG making money and mark to unicorn fallacies across every balance sheet = shit is under the rug.

The fraud finance coup d'etat remains regardless of bullshit tales of the contrary from democrat or republican.  Total nonsense.


Dr Benway's picture

Hmm. It would seem that India and to some extent 'Rest of the world' was under the rule of Europe for a big chunk of the time period covered, making straight comparisons iffy?

Jupiter's picture


Uh....India was "under the rule of Europe" only significantly beginning in the mid-1700s and afterwards. 


Get your facts straight please.


Dr Benway's picture

LOL and that is not a big chunk of time? What are you, like five years old and disagreeing for the fun of it?


The fact is large parts of the world were controlled by "North America, Europe, Japan" for large and important parts of the time period covered, which complicates comparisons. It's not even really meaningful to talk about country groups like "North America, Europe, Japan" over such different times.


Anyhoos, just saw this excellent documentary on civilization, innovation and technology traps, its old and might have been posted here before, but very good and historian James Burke goes all Doomsday Prepper at one point:


TheDriver's picture

When comparied to the written history of the region, no -- that's an insignificant amount of time.

AnAnonymous's picture

Uh....India was "under the rule of Europe" only significantly beginning in the mid-1700s and afterwards.

Get your facts straight please.

And a fact is that 'Americanism' started 236 years ago as a concrete thing in the US, first time in human history.

This must be included in the time scale approach...

duo's picture

All of Asia (ex India) and half of Europe and the middle East were "under the rule of Ghengis Khan" around 1200.  Shouldn't there be a bump there?

BigJim's picture

Ghengis Khan was a US citizen, apparently.

Well... he practiced US Citizenism, at least.

akak's picture


Ghengis Khan was a US citizen, apparently.

Indeed he was!  Of course, there is no contradiction here, when one accepts the fact that Ghengis Khan had available to him the lightning-powered time-traveling flying rickshaw of Ben Franklin inventionism, the very same one which allowed George Washington and JP Morgan to go back in time and consumptionize all the resources of 15th century Easter Island, turning the inhabitants into parangongs of starvation and cannibalism.

Well... he practiced US Citizenism, at least.

Only because he was so good at blobbing-up --- but his bowel movements left along the sides of the Silk Road were definitely a classic manifestation of his adopted Chinese Shitizenism.

JPM Hater001's picture

I think anyone who says they can accurately track "global" GDP for 2050 years has a screw loose...or maybe missing. 

Although it is interesting to see that it was never higher than during Jesus time making him the worlds best central planner.

SafelyGraze's picture

"Different version of this chart I found"

whoa!!!! that's a full rainbow, all the way!

Michael's picture

Good interview, except towards the end.;

WATCH: Glenn interviews Senator Rand Paul


spentCartridge's picture

When four thousand rounds ain't enough ...


That's all the ammo I have, btw, that's why I pimp this particular #


I traded all my gold for weed & scotch too, I don't live anywhere near a lake and so have no use for a boat.


Scuppered or buoyant.

JPM Hater001's picture

That's a lot of shots to count. 

"Now I know what you're thinkin'. Did he fire 3999 shots or was it 4000?"
max2205's picture

Talk about a stretch ! They didn't even have books to cook back then

matrix2012's picture


I put much more trust to Angus Maddison's works than those of bankster's organs !!!


Hompepage: http://bit.ly/coAf2c

Angus Maddison (1926-2010) was Emeritus Professor at Faculty of Economics, University of Groningen

Some of his famous works which are downloadable at free from his homepage, such as:

- "Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD"

- "Growth and Interaction in the World Economy"

- "Chinese Economic Performance in the Long Run, 960-2030, OECD, Paris, October 2007"

- "Monitoring the World Economy, 1820-1992"

- "The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective"


Another interesting read on this subject:

China and India: awakening giants, feet of clay by Pranab Bardhan

Pranab Bardhan of the University of California, Berkeley, talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about his new book ‘Awakening Giants, Feet of Clay: Assessing the Economic Rise of China and India’. HE ARGUES THAT SIGNIFICANT POVERTY REDUCTION IN BOTH COUNTRIES IS MAINLY DUE TO DOMESTIC FACTORS – NOT GLOBAL INTEGRATION, AS MOST WOULD BELIEVE. The interview was recorded at the London School of Economics in May 2010.

Romesh Vaitilingam: Welcome to Vox Talks, a series of audio interviews with leading economists from around the world. My name is Romesh Vaitilingam, and today's interview is with professor Pranab Bardhan of the University of California, Berkeley. Pranab and I met at the London School of Economics in May 2010 where we spoke about his new book "Awakening Giants, Feet of Clay: Assessing the Economic Rise of China and India", and I began by asking him what he saw as the value of comparing these two enormous countries.

Pranab Bardhan: Well, these two countries, being enormous, as you said, obviously attract attention when they start rising and this is a historic phenomenon. If you go back to 1820, if you take the calculations of ANGUS MADDISON who recently died, actually. 1820, half of the world income was coming from these two countries. Jump to 1950, nine percent. That's a big decline. The projection is that 2025, the two together will be about 36 percent.

So it's not been restored to half a world income, but then, it’s significant. In 200 years, that's a big change, and the rise has happened in the last 20, 25 years. So such a short period, such a big change, particularly in China, has attracted obviously a great deal of attention.

Most of the interest I see in Western media and also some in academia, is interested WHAT THIS IMPLIES FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD. That is NOT the focus of my book.

My book is TRYING TO UNDERSTAND WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THESE MASSES OF PEOPLE IN THESE TWO GIANT COUNTRIES, and under what constraints they live. So in that sense, it's an obvious comparison. Both are ancient countries, both are primarily agrarian countries until very, very recently.In terms of national income, they're not primarily agricultural countries anymore. In India, it's about 17 percent of GDP, in China, it's about 12 percent.

But huge numbers of people are still dependent on agriculture. In India, it's more like half, in China, less than half. But still, very large. So they're still agrarian country in terms of livelihoods of people, and both are doing very well, particularly in terms of economic growth. But what I'm interested in is not just growth rates. Because in the case of China, it's not just the growth, it's the COMPOSITION OF THE GROWTH that's also attracted attention.

. . .

More: http://bit.ly/deeEw6

Silver Bug's picture

Time to fix this mess once again. Let's make gold and silver once again! Balance the books!



neidermeyer's picture

Sorry to post unrelated stuff here but I didn't see this til today and it's big ... FDIC SUING BAC GS ALLY JPM over assett backed certificates that weren't assett backed ... the "mortgage" coverup is really starting to come undone.


Widowmaker's picture

Every entity listed is a government sposored corporation.

Not one fucking thing will come out of any "lawsuit."   These "entities" and every sole in them are blameless and clean, no one saw anything coming, no one "will" see anything tomorrow, and that makes all criminal liability moot, again. 

Do you think hurting the fraud-makers with financial punishment is punishment?  Its another bailout.

Read it again, not one fucking thing happens to any person (with a pulse).  

Culpability and justice remain totally unserved in every capacity in the land of incorporated lawless.  The rule of law is trumped by the rule of money in every sense of the word.

Watch, weep and most of all keep paying your taxes so that fraud continues unabated and truth unrepresented..


francis_sawyer's picture

Jesus for Fed Chair...

Assetman's picture

... at least savers would stand a fighting chance. :)

old naughty's picture

J for Fed chair...

Is this how you want Him to unlease his "shadow" on us head-in-the-sand crowd?

tbone654's picture

we need savers and saviors...

Conrad Murray's picture

As the mammoth iceberg of faux wealth melts, the convection currents take over currency conception and we all...get fucked

LetThemEatRand's picture

The U.S. peaked in the 50's/60's, when CEO salaries were only 10 or 20x average worker pay.  I know, it takes 30 years to build a steel plant and we bombed Japan in the '40's blah blah blah.

Urban Redneck's picture

It`s peak coincided with the birth of better "Lands of Opportunity" and the American Exceptiuonalism/Manifest Destiny crowd not keeping up with the Joneses.  South Americans continued migrating in numbers later than others because of relative ease/proximity and the lack of plane/boat ticket requirement. 

zorba THE GREEK's picture

I don't believe the West is emotionly prepared to switch places with the East, but the

economy is more than ready for the transition. Oh, unhappy day!

AnAnonymous's picture

I don't believe the West is emotionly prepared to switch places with the East, but the

economy is more than ready for the transition.

It is not really a matter of being prepared.

In 'American' economics, so many things are fake...

A shift from 'American' nations to somewhere else will expose that in such a way it would be destructive on a global scale.

uff the fluff's picture

Because economics in China is oh so transparent and not currupt in the slightest.


Nope, no Princelings, SOEs or guanxi. Heck it's some sort of libertarian utopia really.

prains's picture


if the american economy is fake then the the chinese economy is the plastic flower gathering dust in the corner of the noodle house

akak's picture

Fake begrimed flower
Troll squats, grunts, shits on roadside
Which one is more sad?

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

akak said:

Fake begrimed flower
Troll squats, grunts, shits on roadside
Which one is more sad?

One who is most sad
Has a smelly neighbor named

Almost Solvent's picture

"Rest of the world" is begging to be incorporated into North America/Europe/Japan - China - or India. 


It's just sitting out there ready for a corporate takeover i.e. LBO or WW3

TwoShortPlanks's picture

On the graph, where does Central Banking start...I wonder?

suteibu's picture

At about the same time the West bottoms out and reverses course.

Harbanger's picture

In 1913, the Federal Reserve was created in a coup d’état that resulted in rewriting the Constitution of the United States and left the American people with a progressively declining dollar. Today, thanks to the actions of this central bank, the American dollar is worth about 4 cents.

max2205's picture

5 cents.... 25% more. Sarc

edifice's picture

1668, with the Sveriges Riksbank, in Sweden.

chump666's picture

China is about to hike fuel costs very soon and India is done.

The west exported inflation, the east soaked it up and send cheap crap back to us to consumer. 

FUBAR all round.

Fecklesslackey's picture

Isn't the Roman Empire counted as Europe ... Until 350 AD Rome had enormous reach and GDP

ParkAveFlasher's picture

Is it Istanbul, or Constantinople?