US economy

July 4th, charted


© Bloomberg

Alphaville let out a slight whimper Thursday on the news that Deutsche Bank’s grand chartmaster Torsten Sløk is leaving the German bank for the placid shores of private equity house Apollo Global Management.

We wish him well, and thanks for all the chart memories.

Our sadness was alleviated today by the news his replacement is none other than Jim Reid.

Now we know and love Jim for his team’s Early Morning Reid macro email, but one aspect of his work which we’ve enjoyed the most is his financial history deep dives. For instance, you might recall the work they did during peak coronavirus pandemic panic on historical contractions in the English economy over the past 400-odd years.

So in first chart email today, and given the date, Jim treated us to a July 4th themed graphic. And it’s the sort of thing which, if you were born under the Star Spangled Banner, may make you want to pop to Walmart, buy some aggressive fireworks and blow a hole in the ground of your beloved land.

USA! USA! USA!

Here’s Jim’s explainer:

As a Brit taking over from someone who has lived in the US for the vast majority of his career it seems an opportune moment to reflect on whether the split from the UK back in 1776 was worth it . . . Since 1789, US real GDP has averaged 3.9% and the UK 2.0%.

So yes, on a purely economic basis it was worth it. However it is worth pointing out that, like China since the 1970s, the US started in 1789 with a far less developed economy than England, which of course, gave it more room to grow into.

Still, 3.9 per cent real GDP growth is nothing to be sniffed at. Particularly when you consider what’s happened to the economies of the more developed countries over that period of time. Argentina anyone?


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