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