The world turned upside down or a tale of two cities

Some curious worrying things I learnt in the Guardian today:

  • The proportion of stock owned in UK companies by individuals fell from 47% in 2008 to 10% in 2008
  • The percentage of stock in foreign hands rose from 7% to 42%

Yet I am convinced that if you asked a reasonably well informed person in the street what they thought had happened to ownership over that period, they would recall the heady days of ‘Sid’ and Thatcherite popular capitalism and believe that the opposite was the case with ‘the people’ now having a greater  stake in companies.

And further in this vein:

  • the share of national income captured by the top 0.1% rose from 1.3% in 1979 to 6.5% in 2007.

Again to many that might seem counter intuitive.

And even more curious, Giorgio Armani reported a rise in sales of 50% between 2010 and 2011 and Valentino’s couture sales rose by 80% over the same period.This decidedly robust upturn in the couture market while everywhere else the economy was plunging was nicely summed up by one of Armani’s people who said ‘Couture customers are better equipped to face economic uncertainty’.Indeed I’d go so far as to say they arent facing any uncertainty.

What are we to make of all this at a time when the Social Fund is being cut and the undeserving poor are lambasted by the Mail and such like for being the architects of their own personal downfall .While the PM berates the unemployed with fatuous talk of ‘going out and getting a job’.He clearly doesnt get north of the M40 very often.

What I do know is that we are a long way from Bedford Falls!

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