Punching Above Our Weight

One of the unexpected results of the recent rally in American stocks, combined

with a market malaise throughout the rest of the world, is that U.S. companies, in

aggregate, now make up more than 40% of the global market capitalization of all

publicly-traded stocks. This is up from just over 32% ten years ago.

What makes this more remarkable is that two-fifths of the market opportunities

have been generated in a country that makes up just 6.2% of the world’s


Japan’s total market cap ranks in a distant second place, with 7.59% of the

total—down from 8.02% ten years ago. But Japan is still punching above its

weight; its population represents 1.66% of the world’s total. Similarly, the United

Kingdom’s publicly traded companies make up 4.49% of the world’s total (down

from 6.83% ten years ago), while England’s total population is just 0.86% of all the

people in the world.

Among other big disparities: China’s publicly-traded companies make up just

7.51% of the world’s total, even though China makes up 18.2% of the world’s

population. The disparity is even greater in India, whose companies make up

2.83% of global market cap despite India representing 17.5% of the world’s


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