2,000 Years Of Economic History (In One Chart)

Long before the invention of modern day maps or gunpowder, the planet’s major powers were already duking it out for economic and geopolitical supremacy.

Today’s chart tells that story in the simplest terms possible. As Visual Capitalist's Jeff Desjardins notes, by showing the changing share of the global economy for each country from 1 AD until now, it compares economic productivity over a mind-boggling time period.

Originally published in a research letter by Michael Cembalest of JP Morgan, we’ve updated it based on the most recent data and projections from the IMF. If you like, you can still find the original chart (which goes to 2008) at The Atlantic. It’s also worth noting that the original source for all the data up until 2008 is from the late Angus Maddison, a famous economic historian that published estimates on population, GDP, and other figures going back to Roman times.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

 

A MAJOR CAVEAT

If you looked at the chart in any depth, you probably noticed a big problem with it. The time periods between data points aren’t equal – in fact, they are not close at all.

The first gap on the x-axis is 1,000 years and the second is 500 years. Then, as we get closer to modernity, the chart uses mostly 10 year intervals. Changing the scale like this is a big data visualization “no no”, as rightly pointed out in a blog post by The Economist.

While we completely agree, we have a made an exception in this case. Why? Because getting good economic data from the early 20th century is already difficult enough – and so trying to find data in regular intervals before then seems like a fool’s errand. Likewise, a stacked bar chart with different years also doesn’t really do this story justice.

We encountered similar historical data issues in our Richest People of Human History graphic, and at the end of the day decided it was primarily for fun. Like today’s chart, it has its share of imperfections – but ultimately, it provides a great amount of context and serves as a conversation starter.

OUR INTERPRETATION

Caveats aside, there are many stories that materialize from this simple chart. They include the colossal impact of the Industrial Revolution on the West, as well as the momentum behind the re-emergence of Asia.

But there’s one other story that ties it all together: the exponential rate of human economic growth that occurred over the last century.

For thousands of years, economic progress was largely linear and linked to population growth. Without machines or technological innovations, one person could only produce so much with their time and resources.

More recently, innovations in technology and energy allowed the “hockey stick” effect to come into play.

It happened in Western Europe and North America first, and now it’s happening in other parts of the world. As this technological playing field evens, economies like China and India – traditionally some of the largest economies throughout history – are now making their big comeback.

Editor’s note: We have adjusted the main graphic as of Sep 10, 2017 to change the description of the chart. It now says “Share of GDP (World Powers)” instead of the previous “Share of world GDP”, which was technically an inaccurate description.

NASA: “Sun Erupts With Significant Flare”

Around 12:06 p.m EDT on Sept 10, 2017, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured an image of the sun unleashing a massive solar flare from a recently active region. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however — when intense enough — they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.  Per NASA,

This flare is classified as an X8.2-class flare. X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength. An X2 is twice as intense as an X1, an X3 is three times as intense, etc.  

 

The X9.3 flare was the largest flare so far in the current solar cycle, the approximately 11-year-cycle during which the sun’s activity waxes and wanes. The current solar cycle began in December 2008, and is now decreasing in intensity and heading toward solar minimum. This is a phase when such eruptions on the sun are increasingly rare, but history has shown that they can nonetheless be intense.

 

This flare is the capstone on a series of flares from Active Region 2673, which was identified on Aug. 29 and is currently rotating off the front of the sun as part of our star’s normal rotation.

The flare was captured in the following NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center video.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of the solar flare:


The flare as seen in the bright flash on the right side on Sept. 10, 2017.

More details:

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration signals X8.2 (R3-STRONG) X-RAY EVENT OBSERVED AT 10/1606 UTC. Primary areas impact includes ‘large portions of sunlit side of earth’. Possible effects include wide spread HF radio blackouts and navigation degradation through GPS (loss in signal).

As SWL.com notes, “yesterday’s X8.2 (R3-strong) solar flare from sunspot region 2673 was one of the most spectacular solar flares we have ever seen. Not only was this the second strongest solar flare of the current solar cycle, it also launched an extremely fast and broad coronal mass ejection:

Following the flare, we quickly reached the strong S3 solar radiation storm level which only takes place about 10 times during a 11 year solar cycle. Possible effects of the ongoing S3 solar radiation storm are: degraded HF radio propagation at polar regions and navigation position errors, satellite effects on imaging systems and solar panel currents, significant radiation hazard to astronauts on extra-vehicular activity (EVA) and high-latitude aircraft passengers.

 

The coronal mass ejection is as far as we can remember one of the fastest coronal mass ejections of the current solar cycle as we measured the ejecta at a whopping 2,700km/s to 2,800km/s! To compare: The X28 coronal mass ejection from 4 November 2003 left the Sun at 2,400km/s! Goes to show this is an extreme coronal mass ejection that would without a doubt cause intense geomagnetic storming if it would have been launched directly at Earth.

 

SOHO/LASCO imagery shows an impressive asymmetrical full halo coronal mass ejection which means the outer edges of the solar plasma cloud are directed straight at (or away) from the observing space craft. It is therefor hard to say if this edge is directed towards the front side, the far side or both but taking into account the monstrous coronal wave and the jump in the low-energy EPAM protons, we are fairly confident that we are going to see at least a shock passage or a glancing blow at Earth. You can see the coronal wave in the tweet that we posted yesterday.

 

As SWL adds, while the flanks of a coronal mass ejection are always a bit slower than the bulk, the transit time should still be around one and a half day or about 36 to 40 hours (calculated with SARM) which puts the expected impact time of this coronal mass ejection at 06:00 UTC on 12 September 2017 with a plus/minus of 6 hours. The NOAA SWPC has a much later impact time, late on September 13.

Subsequent coronagraph imagery analysis has been concluded. The full halo coronal mass ejection (CME) was so powerful and widespread, there actually appears to be an Earth directed component, most evident when viewing the LASCO C3 (blue color) video. If so, an impact to the earth’s geomagnetic field may be possible as soon as tomorrow.

According to the latest tracking models, the edge of the large CME may deliver a glancing blow to our geomagnetic field by Sept. 13th. This combined with an anticipated coronal hole stream may help to enhance activity. A Moderate (G2) storm watch will be in effect.

Pieczenik, Jones Get into Heated Debate Over Trump Conspiracies

Content originally published at iBankCoin.com

 

There are some people who apologize for Trump for virtually every single thing he does. They like to blame the usual cast of villains, including Dina Powell, Jared Kushner, Gary Cohn, Gen. McMaster, Mattis and Kelly — even his own daughter Ivanka Trump. It’s easy to get swept into drama-filled theories of palace intrigue — depicting a cabal of evil people, all with ties to George Soros, trying to take down Trump.

But if you followed that logic all the way down to its root, it would suggest that Trump was, in fact, an idiot — unable to manage his affairs, permitting horrible people control and manage him, even isolate him from the grandeur of the alt-right media. None of this is conducive with the overarching theory by his sycophants that the President is always playing 3D intergalactic speed fencing championship tier chess — so they resort to blaming others for isolating the President.

Case in point. During today’s broadcast of the Alex Jones show, Roger Stone made the outrageous implication that the President was being drugged — as a precursor to a coup. He segued into that after discussing the resignation of long time Trump bodyguard, Keith Schiller. Stone said that Schiller had always been ‘the canary in the coal mine’ for the President and that with him out of the way, forced out by Gen. Kelly, the President’s life was in danger.

This all makes for a good radio show, drives up the click views on the website — but it cannot be substantiated, aside from a few ‘unnamed sources.’ Stone even said that McMaster made disparaging remarks about Trump while dining with the CEO of Oracle recently, with Jones chiming in that the behavior was in fact ‘treasonous.’

All of this rhetoric was checked and flushed down a Floridian toilet bowl when Jones called up Dr. Pieczenik to get his take on this ‘bombshell’ news. Starting off the conversation, Dr. Pie chastised him thricely for not being polite enough to ask how he was fairing during Hurricane Irma — then he laid waste to Jones’ conspiracies, pointing out that the President wasn’t a child and was smart enough to manage his own affairs.

I’ve never seen these two clash. Watch.

The United States Of Hubris

Authored by Antonius Aquinas,

If anyone should have any questions about whether the United States of America is not the most aggressive, warlike, and terroristic nation on the face of the earth, its latest proposed action against the supposed rogue state of North Korea should allay any such doubts.

Last week, the US circulated a draft resolution which it intends to present to the UN Security Council that would give the American Navy and Air Force the power to interdict North Korean ships at sea to determine if they were transporting “weaponry material” or fuel and that US forces would be given “the right” to use “all necessary measures” to “enforce compliance.”*

Not surprisingly, Nikky Haley, the blood-thirsty and incompetent American Ambassador to the UN, has enthusiastically backed the resolution, utterly clueless of its ramifications if passed, the most horrific of which would be the igniting of WWIII.  Trump’s selection of the neocon mouthpiece as UN Ambassador has been a disaster on several fronts: first, it was an early and quite telling sell out of his political base whom he promised an American First foreign policy of less belligerency and intervention.  Second, Haley had no foreign policy experience and has made a fool of herself internationally on more than one occasion with her inane statements.

That the US is even considering such a provocative scheme once again shows the hubris which exists within its vast corridors of power.  Any other country which would suggest such an audacious act would be rightly condemned, ostracized, and labeled as a rogue state.  Yet, it is US lawmakers, policy wonks, and the CIA/NSA-directed American press corps that charge others (mostly those who do not kowtow to US dictates) of “terrorism.”

This year, as of yet, North Korea has not been responsible for a single death of a foreign national.  Nor has the tiny communist state ever used a nuclear weapon against an enemy like the US did with its immoral and hellish destruction of two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the conclusion of WWII.

On the other hand, since the start of the Trump Presidency, US-backed forces have been responsible for the deaths of some 3700 civilians in Mosul, Iraq.  This is not to mention its murderous armed strikes in Yemen and Afghanistan.  Nor is American aggression limited to direct military action, but its arms supply sales to despots and its puppets has escalated tensions and makes conflicts that do break out much more brutal.

Fortunately, for the future of global peace, US hegemony is coming to an end.  The nation is hopelessly broke while its welfare/warfare economy is beyond reform and faltering badly which means that when the inevitable collapse does happen, it will mean the end or a serious pull back of the Empire.  A similar situation took place in Great Britain in 1945 after it took part in another senseless global conflict which liquidated the British Empire once and for all.

Any sober thinking realist would recognize the deteriorating societal and economic conditions at home, yet because of the collective hubris embedded in the political class, American bellicosity continues.

The last hope of changing US overseas affairs in a peaceful direction was Donald Trump who throughout the campaign spoke of an American First foreign policy which garnered widespread support.  Within Trump’s foreign policy statements, however, there were many troubling ones: call for increased defense spending, “wiping out ISIS,” updating the nation’s nuclear arsenal, putting an end to the North Korean “problem.”  The encouraging words about non-intervention and getting along with Russia were quickly scuttled while the militaristic side of Trump’s campaign rhetoric has won the day.

History is replete with examples of hubristic regimes which appeared invincible and everlasting, but quickly fall with severe and quite nasty retribution from their enemies.  While the US goes about the world threatening, bombing, and destabilizing those it does not like, it too, possibly in the not too distant future, will face the deserved wrath of those it has humiliated and terrorized.