(Roughly) Daily

“The rich are different than you and me”*…


Last year 12m people in the world had $1m or more in investible assets. That is 1m more “high-net-worth individuals” than in 2011. After falling in two of the previous five years, their combined wealth increased by 10% in 2012 to a record $46.2 trillion. America, home to 3.4m very rich folk, Japan (1.9m) and Germany (over 1m) account for more than half of the world’s wealthy. Of the 12 countries with the most super-rich people, only Brazil failed to swell its numbers last year, as its economy slowed. North America reclaimed its position from Asia-Pacific as home to more extremely wealthy people than any other region, but its lead is unlikely to last, as Asia has many of the fastest-growing economies.

The Economist

* Ernest Hemingway’s famous mis-quote of F. Scott Fitzgerald:

Fitzgerald: The rich are different than you and me.

Hemingway: Yes, they have more money.

It is an embellished retelling of an actual encounter between Hemingway and Mary Colum:

Hemingway: I am getting to know the rich.

Colum: I think you’ll find the only difference between the rich and other people is that the rich have more money.

Fitzgerald’s actual sentiment is captured in his 1926 short story “The Rich Boy”: “Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft, where we are hard, cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand.”


As we rub two pennies together, we might recall that it was on this date in 1819 that the first “Savings Bank” in the U.S., The Bank for Savings in New York City, opened in the Old Alms House (also known as The New York Institution) in the Five Points neighborhood in Manhattan.


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