Re: [OPE] US national wealth 2007 - land values

From: Anders Ekeland <>
Date: Sun Dec 07 2008 - 03:10:08 EST

Interesting figures Jurriaan!

But what strikes me is that "residential assets", "US land" ,
"physical plant and equipment" (to large share the land that the
plants are on" more than doubles, and the other items grows much
less. Does not this point to the problems of overvalued assets, then
being used as "security" for loans - etc. etc.

In short do we believe in this numbers for land values? If so what do
they mean?

Mark Twain said "Buy land, they have stopped making it" - but such a
big rise in the "scarcity price" relative to most other things?

How does this look in other countries?


At 21:09 06.12.2008, you wrote:
> From table 13.5 in the Analytical perspectives annex to the US
> federal budget,
> <>
> we can get an idea of total US capital stocks by category, in
> rounded trillions of 2007 dollars. We can add US-owned assets
> abroad from BEA data e.g.
> <>
> and financial assets from McKinsey
> <>
> to obtain the following kind of table for 1980 and 2007:
>1980 2007
>Publicly owned US physical
>assets: 5.2
> 9.7
>Privately owned US physical residential
>assets 7.5 17.4
>Privately owned, non-residential US physical plant &
>equipment 7.6 14.8
>US Physical
> 1.6` 2.0
>6.4 16.9
>Net claims by foreigners to US
>assets -0.4
> 8.3
>Total US assets owned abroad
>(BEA) 2
> 17.6
>Total US-owned financial assets
>(McKinsey) circa 5
>(est) 56.1 (McKinsey 2006 figure; the 2007
>figure would be near 60 trillion).
> of which government financial assets (excl. Fed
> Reserve 0.5 0.6
>10 13.6
>US Employed Labor force
>(millions) 99
> 144
>US Population
>228 301
>Marxists will talk about the "expanded reproduction of capital" with
>deep and meaningful profundity, but this is an approximate
>quantitative indication of the empirical expanded reproduction of
>capital. And it is a capital structure in which non-productive
>physical capital is larger in value that productive physical
>capital, and in which total physical capital assets and total
>financial assets are nowadays similar in size. The budget document
>also provides figures for human capital (the value of labor power)
>and for R&D capital, but I did not include them in this table.
>When there's talk of "trillions of debt", you have to evaluate that
>against these asset holdings. Let's suppose you owe 10 trillion
>dollars of debt. You obviously don't owe all the different debts
>over the same terms, but let's say you have to pay all of it back
>over fifteen years as grand average. Then you have to pay back 666
>billion per year, plus interest. But in fact you don't just have
>debts, but also income, so you are not simply losing capital but
>also gaining it. By the time you do the calculation properly, you
>realise that the debt is not such a big problem, and that in fact
>you can make money from the debt insofar as the capital you owe you
>can make use of. That's precisely why the debts grew so large in the
>first place.
>However, if expectations of future earnings decline, then you get
>cashflow problems and you're going to have to cut down on something,
>cut down costs. Somebody has to pay for the shortfall. Who is going
>to pay? You guessed it, the workers. The US unemployment rate rose
>from 6.5% to 6.7% in one month. The EU27 unemployment rate rose from
>7% to 7.1% in one month. Japan's unemployment rate is now rising
>from 4% to 4.1%. That means a cap on real wage growth, though in the
>short term, because of price deflation, you don't notice it so much.
>ope mailing list

ope mailing list
Received on Sun Dec 7 03:15:16 2008

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Wed Dec 31 2008 - 00:00:05 EST