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Карта сельско-хозяйственного производства в США.     Экспорт и импорт США

Финансы в США. Финансы, страхование и недвижимость в 1991 году обогнали промышленность в экономике США

Finance in Unaited States. The constant threat of economic crisis - bubbles in Finance, insurance and real estate

FINANCE

In 1991, output of the so-called FIRE sector - finance, insurance, and real estate (excluding construction) - surpassed that of manufacturing. Since the FIRE workforce was only 36% as large, that means that the FIRE worker was roughly three times as productive as the manufacturing worker.

What, after all, do financiers and landlords produce? It is not hard to conceptualize the activity of manufacturing: workers take parts and raw materials and put together finished products, which are then sold for more than their costs of production. That concept translates easily into the national income accounts: value-added, or gross product, equals income from sales less the costs of purchased inputs. That value-added is then

divided between workers and owners in the form of wages and profits. But with FIRE, things are less simple; there are no raw materials and there is no tangible finished product.

To circumvent that problem, the national income accountants assume that the value of FIRE's product is simply equal to the costs of providing it - salaries, profits, rent and interest paid, computers, and the like. (This helps explain the bar chart which shows that FIRE output and employment march in virtual lockstep - unlike manufacturing and farming, where technical progress makes it possible to produce more with less.) From anoth-

er perspective, FIRE's product is equal to what it can charge its customers (since sales on one side equals costs plus profits on the other). While this statistical compromise makes accounting sense, it fails in any intuitive sense to answer the question - what does finance produce?

In economic theory, the financial sector collects society's savings and allocates them to their most productive (defined as most profitable) uses. Even assuming, generously, that is what financiers, realtors, and developers do, it must be noted that they take a very large cut in the process. In 1991, for example, the gross product of the FIRE sector was $1,039 billion a year when gross private investment totaled $737 million. In other

words, FIRE's 'product' was 41% larger than all national investment. Salaries ($252 billion) and profits ($76 billion) alone were equal to 45% of gross investment.

FIRE pays well. The sector's elite, those employed by security and commodity brokers, earn the highest salary by far of any of the 73 sectors for which the Bureau of

Economic Analysis publishes estimates - three times the average of all private sector workers. And workers in finance are the richest group in the Federal Reserve's house hold financial surveys. FIRE produces wealth for financiers.

Sources to the map:

Ruggles, Richard and Nancy D. Ruggles. 'Integrated Economic Accounts for the United States, 1947-80.' Survey of Current Business, no. 62:5 (May 1982): 1-53; U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. 'Annual Revision of the National Income and Product Accounts.'Survey of Current Business, no.73:8 (August 1993):9Ч51. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment and Earnings (January 1993); U.S. Department of Commerce. Economic Bulletin Board. Washington, D.C.; Yuskavage, Robert E. 'Gross Product by Industry, 1988-91.'Survey of Current Business, no.73:11 (November 1993): 33-44.

Finance in Unaited States. The constant threat of economic crisis - bubbles in Finance, insurance and real estate




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