July 25, 2014


First initiated by Goldman Sachs as an investment concept in 2001, BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, & South Africa) are gaining economic power and aiming to create a new political and economic order.  To them, the current financial system lead by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund is out of touch and not suited to support the world’s emerging markets.  BRICS accounts for 30% of world’s territory and 42% of world population.  Four of the BRICS — China, India, Brazil and Russia — are now ranked among the world’s 10 largest economies.

Let’s compare between the US and BRICS economic outputs.  In 2000, the combined GDP of BRICS was only 26% of the US’ GDP.  Thirteen years later in 2013, BRICS’ combined GDP has climbed to 94% of the US’ GDP, with China’s GDP experiences the sharpest increase.  China’s GDP annual growth rate is also highest among the US and other BRICS nations.

The US still commands the highest GDP per capita, whereas China’s is still relatively low.  However, when analyzing the Total Reserves, China stands out for having the fastest increase in total reserves from 2000-2013, and the highest total reserves in 2013 (6 times more than that of the US).  The huge total reserves not only can buffer China from drastic economic upheavals, but also provide tremendous economic power.  

With the launch of BRICS’ New Development Bank (NDB) headquartered in Shanghai, I can’t wait to see the sibling rivalry of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the NDB.

July 11, 2014


Since ‘87, Forbes magazine has published the annual billionaires’ list.  The list highlights the ultra-rich individuals who exert a powerful influence on the world economy that has become interconnected and more accessible.

This viz shows the global billionaires from 1987 to 2014 and includes some interesting trends:

1)  Japan started out as a leader in 1987 and is now far behind.  It seems like the country has lost its mojo in term of mega-wealth creation. 

2)  BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, & South Africa) increasingly contribute many new billionaires to the list since 2000’s.

3)  The United States, with the largest economy in the world, has long dominated the billionaires’ list and still represents the land of opportunities.  As Forbes magazine puts it, “We needn’t love our billionaires, but we should be grateful we live in a society that keeps creating new ones.”

 ** This viz was originally designed as a motion chart, but since Tableau Public doesn’t support motion chart, the viz was modified so that in order to see a ‘motion’ chart, you have to manually increase the year.  Sorry for the not-so-ideal user experience.


Full of envy?  That’s OK because envy is easier to bear than poverty.