The Megacity Economy: How Seven Types Of Global Cities Stack Up

Back in 1950, close to 30% of the global population lived in cities.

As Visual Capitalist’s Jeff Desjardins notes, that has shifted dramatically, and by 2050, a whopping 70% of people will live in urban areas – some of which will be megacities housing tens of millions of people.

This trend of urbanization has been a boon to global growth and the economy. In fact, it is estimated today by McKinsey that the 600 top urban centers contribute a whopping 60% to the world’s total GDP.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist



With so many people moving to urban metropolitan areas, the complexion of cities and their economies change each day.

The Brookings Institute has a new way of classifying these megacities, using various economic indicators.

According to their analysis, here’s what differentiates the seven types of global cities:

Important note: This isn’t intended to be a “ranking” of cities. However, on the infographic, cities are sorted by GDP per capita within each typology, and given a number based on where they stand in terms of this metric. This is just intended to show how wealthy the average citizen is per city, and is not a broader indicator relating to the success or overall ranking of a city.

1. Global Giants

These six cities are the world’s leading economic and financial centers. They are hubs for financial markets and are characterized by large populations and a high concentration of wealth and talent.

Examples: New York City, Tokyo, London

2. Asian Anchors

The six Asian Anchor cities are not as wealthy as the Global Giants, however they leverage attributes such as infrastructure connectivity and talented workforces to attract the most Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) out of any other metro grouping.

Examples: Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore

3. Emerging Gateways

These 28 cities are large business and transportation hubs for major national and regional markets in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. While they have grown to reach middle-income status, they fall behind other global cities on many key competitiveness factors such as GDP and FDI.

Examples: Mumbai, Cape Town, Mexico City, Hangzhou

4. Factory China

There are 22 second and third-tier Chinese cities reliant on export manufacturing to power economic growth and international engagement. Although Factory China displays a GDP growth rate that is well above average, it fails to reach average levels of innovation, talent, and connectivity.

Examples: Shenyang, Changchun, Chengdu

5. Knowledge Capitals

These are 19 mid-sized cities in the U.S. and Europe that are considered centers of innovation, with elite research universities producing talented workforces.

Examples: San Francisco, Boston, Zurich

6. American Middleweights

These 16 mid-sized U.S. metro areas are relatively wealthy and house strong universities, as well as other anchor institutions.

Examples: Orlando, Sacramento, Phoenix

7. International Middleweights

These 26 cities span across several continents, internationally connected by human and investment capital flow. Like their American middleweight counterparts, growth has slowed for these cities since the 2008 recession.

Examples: Vancouver, Melbourne, Brussels, Tel Aviv

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North Korea Launches Ballistic Missile, Tests Trump

With the news cycle clearly far less interested in Trump’s golf game or Abe’s handicap, just before 8am local time (6pm ET), North Korea decided to provide CNN with some “exciting” news when it fired a ballistic missile into the sea off its east coast, South Korea’s military said, in what was the latest test of Trump’s resolve to retaliate to North Korean provocations.

This was the first missile launch by North Korea since Donald Trump – who has repeatedly threatened of taking retaliatory measures against such an act – took office. The launch also comes just one day after the US Air Force test-fired a Minuteman ICBM from California.

Cited by Reuters, a US official said that while the U.S. military had detected the missile launch and was assessing it, it was probably not an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The missile was launched from an area named Panghyon in North Korea’s western region and flew about 500 kilometers (300 miles) before falling into the sea, the South’s Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in statements. “Our assessment is that it is part of a show of force in response to the new U.S. administration’s hardline position against the North,” the office said.

#ROK military says #DPRK missile flew about 500km and fell into sea.

— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) February 12, 2017

The South’s military said Seoul and Washington were analyzing the details of the launch. Yonhap News Agency said the South Korean military is assessing the launch to confirm whether it was a Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile, which has a designed flight range of 3,000 kilometers (1,800 miles). The U.S. military also said it had detected a missile test launch by the North and was assessing it, according to a U.S. defense official in Washington.

Japan’s government said it had asked the UN to issue “a strong message” against North Korea for the latest provocation.

Japan gov’t says it’s asking #UN to issue “a strong message” against #DPRK for latest provocation.

— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) February 12, 2017

The North tried to launch a Musudan eight times last year during the Obama presidency, but most attempts failed. One launch that sent a missile 400 km (250 miles), more than half the distance to Japan, was considered a success by officials and experts in the South and the United States.

Sunday’s launch comes a day after Trump held a summit meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and said he agreed to work to ensure strong defense against North Korea’s threat. South Korea’s presidential Blue House said a National Security Council meeting was called and chaired by President Park Geun-hye’s top national security advisor.

One month ago, during his New Year speech, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said that the country was close to test-launching an intercontinental ballistic missile and state media said such a launch could come at any time, leading Trump to write on Twitter, “It won’t happen!” Trump did not give specifics of how he’d stop Kim’s missile development.

He may have to now.

At the time, Kim’s comments prompted a vow of an “overwhelming” response from U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis. North Korea conducted two nuclear tests and a number of missile-related tests at an unprecedented rate since early last year and was seen by experts and officials to be making progress in its weapons capabilities.

If indeed today’s launch is a “show of force” in response to the US hardline position, the entire world will be closely watching to see if Trump is about to fold again as he did on Friday, when he was called a “paper tiger” by China’s media after reversing his position on the “One China” policy, and agreeing that he would not challenge China’s legacy status with Taiwan.

According to the press, the White House – and president Trump at Mar-A-Lago – has been briefed on the launch.

@WhiteHouse officials say @POTUS has been briefed on #DPRK missile launch.

— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) February 12, 2017

We expect either a very angry tweet in response shortly, or a mushroom cloud to emerge in the middle of Pyongyang any minute.

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Dark times ahead for <b>crude</b>

The EIA reported a buildup of 13.8m barrels for commercial crude oil inventories in the US. Total US commercial inventories were reported at 508.6m …The post Dark times ahead for <b>crude</b> appeared first on

Lindsay Lohan Urges Trump-Putin-Erdogan Meeting To Solve Global Refugee Crisis (No, Seriously)

With “Hillary flunkies” proclaiming holier-than-thou perspectives on the president, after failing in their efforts to urge Americans not to vote for Trump, some ‘so-called’ celebrities are choosing not to “obstruct” Congress, but work towards a solutio…

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Beware Of Trojan Horses In Women’s Movements

Submitted by Khadija Khan via The Gatestione Institute,

  • It must be so convenient, while marching in the safe confines of Washington DC, to advocate that other women — far away — be genitally mutilated, married off in childhood, and beaten and violated in their own homes. These women in hijabs marching on Washington do not have to live in this “Utopia.” They are comfortably living in the “infidel West,” protected from such barbarity.
  • The Western culture that allows women to shout into microphones is not even necessarily the culture these women believe in; it is often just a tool they use to promote totalitarian ideas such as anti-Semitism, religious intolerance and imposition of theocratic beliefs.
  • Does Linda Sarsour really think that people have gone so mad that they will give up the civil liberties that their ancestors earned through the centuries, merely for interest-free loans?
  • The hypocrisy is that Sarsour’s bold lifestyle in the US portrays that deep down she herself loathes the suppressing conditions that she promotes for the poor women of the Muslim world, who actually have to live with them. Coming from a conservative Muslim society, I know the culture she yearns for would never allow her to launch such activism without permission from her “guardian” men.
  • The dissenting voices of the oppressed are fighting on two fronts. They are being crushed by their own totalitarian regimes and at the same time by Western apologists for these tyrants.

Why do women who believe in equal rights for women, pick as their spokesperson someone who one minute boasts of her supposed dissent as “patriotism,” while the next minute advocating chopping off other womens’ genitals? It is like choosing a hangman to campaign against the death penalty, or the head of ISIS to campaign for same sex marriages.

The principles of “dissent,” of which they claim to be so proud, and to have borrowed from religious sources, are actually the modern world’s liberal values and human rights — just those rights values they seem to be trying to destroy.

From the other side of their mouths, however, they are trying to impose Islamic sharia law on the West. Unfortunately, sharia is openly antagonistic to Western values and human rights.

How can cults that believe in dominating others call themselves progressive, when their entire message runs counter to the spirit of tolerance and social coexistence?

The champions of sharia have always said they wish to establish a “righteous” form of government, made by divine law, and presumably to that end, they implant their set of rules — such as allowing no debate or criticism on their beliefs, or such as segregating sexes — to destroy modern democracies.

It must be so convenient, while marching on Washington DC, to advocate that other women — far away — be genitally mutilated, married off in childhood, and domestically beaten and violated — and all the while, in the safe confines of Washington, to stay silent on issues of truly massive abuse: floggings; acid burnings; chopping off limbs or heads, or burning, drowning or burying people alive.

These women in hijabs marching on Washington DC do not have to live in this “Utopia.” They are comfortably living in the “infidel West’, protected from such barbarity.

The values they are enjoying here are the values of the enlightened world and have nothing to do with the culture they are trying to impose on others.

The culture that is allowing women such as Linda Sarsour to shout into microphones is not even necessarily the culture these women believe in; it is often just the culture they are using to promote totalitarian ideas such as anti-Semitism, religious intolerance and the imposition of theocratic beliefs through infiltration or force.

The culture to which Sarsour says she aspires, allows mutilating women but does not allow women to speak in a loud tone, let alone speaking through microphones. Hence, she owes her current privileges to her American identity.

Muslim activist Linda Sarsour one minute boasts of her supposed dissent as “patriotism,” while the next minute advocates chopping off other womens’ genitals. (Image source: Seriously.TV video screenshot)

Sarsour stated in a tweet on May 13, 2015: “You’ll know when you’re living under Sharia Law if suddenly all your loans & credit cards become interest free. Sound nice, doesn’t it?”

Then she wrote on an April 29, 2014 tweet: “@RobertWildiris I don’t drink alcohol, don’t eat pork, I follow Islamic way of living. That’s all Sharia law is.”

It would be nice if the only requirements of sharia were avoiding alcohol or pork were; there happens, however, to be an ocean of dos and don’ts that fall into the category of “I follow Islamic way of living.”

The ocean Sarsour never bothered to mention, but that the world witnesses every day, exists from the Saudi palaces to the caves of Afghanistan and Raqqa.

The culture that Sarsour desires to impose on the world — along with promises to waive interest on loans — does not allow women to interact with unrelated men, drive cars, ride bicycles, attend sports events, leave the house without permission, or wear makeup and clothes that reveal their body parts, let alone address a crowd.

Women would also need four male witnesses to prove a rape, or risk being stoned to death for “adultery.”

Does Sarsour really think that people have gone so mad that they will give up all of their civil liberties and freedom that their ancestors earned through the centuries, merely for interest free loans?

The hypocrisy is that her bold lifestyle in the US portrays that deep down, she herself loathes the suppressing conditions that she likes promoting for the poor women of the Muslim world who actually have to live with them.

How would these women in hijabs like to spend a few weeks under the totalitarian regimes about which they love to brag?

Three British girls who followed the call of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi slipped into Syria to join the jihad, only to be desperate over the mistake they had made; one is believed dead.

Kadiza Sultana, Shamima Begum and Amira Abase, intoxicated by ISIS propaganda, entered Syria to join the holy mission and be ISIS brides.

Sultana reportedly was killed in a Russian airstrike while too scared to try an escape from ISIS, fearing extreme torture and public execution if caught.

The whereabouts of the other two are still unknown, apart from rare contact reported between them and their families.

Sophie Kasiki, a French girl who also managed to break away from the ISIS stronghold in Raqqa with her four-year-old son, said she risked death if caught to try to save her son. She defined the ordeal of being with ISIS as “a journey into a hell from which there seemed no return.”

Samra Kesinovic, a 17 year old Austrian girl, was reportedly beaten to death by ISIS fighters when she was caught trying to flee, after being “gifted” by her partner to another ISIS fighter as a sex slave.

The irony is that Linda Sarsour and her followers say they love Hamas and caliphates like the one established by Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi, or Saudi and Iranian regimes — but of course they do not live in them.

Sarsour has doubtless been put forward by men to promote their soft image as they themselves cannot boast about the rights they are giving to their women.

Coming from a conservative Muslim society, I know the culture she yearns for would never allow her to launch such activism without permission from her “guardian” men.

How come she forgot to mention that in Saudi Arabia and many other Muslim states, her kind of activism would cost a woman her family, her honour and probably her life.

A court in the state of Washington suspended the ban on travelers from seven mainly Muslim countries imposed by the President Trump last week.

Would any judge or influential person dare refute the order of, say, the Saudi King, a sharia council of Iran, a member of a royal family from a Middle Eastern country, a military dictator or the Hamas leaders Sarsour apparently so admires?

You cannot even imagine in your worst nightmares dissenting in those sharia-compliant territories, but yes, dissent is allowed in the US and the West, where people are freely allowed to speak their thoughts.

These are not the values of the alien land she professes to admire; these were fought for and earned by the people of the West with their blood.

The progressives’ one-sided love affair with extremists will never serve the purpose of promoting equality.

In fact, it could be counterproductive. In Egypt, the conservative men used women as protestors to overthrow Husni Mubarak’s regime, but once the Muslim Brotherhood, which spearheaded the Morsi regime, took control, the whole world watched in shock as they imposed sharia on everyone — most of all on those women. The Morsi regime later punished women who protested the Iranian-style sharia that it was imposing.

The same imams who were the moving spirits behind Egypt’s revolution were then delivering fatwas [religious opinions] to rape the same women who had been marching in the streets for their rights. According to al Arabiyya:

“An Egyptian Salafi preacher, said raping and sexually harassing women protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square is justified, calling them “crusaders” who “have no shame, no fear and not even feminism…. Abu Islam added that these women activists are going to Tahrir Square not to protest but to be sexually abused because they had wanted to be raped…And by the way, 90 percent of them are crusaders and the remaining 10 percent are widows who have no one to control them.. “

Around 80 women were molested in one night alone, when the Morsi government was ousted and people came out to celebrate his departure.

Those are the views Sarsour is trying to sell.

The same men these liberals and progressives are trying to empower, once enthroned, would declare them apostates and inflict the worst imaginable punishments on them for the “crimes” they are committing by promoting the set of values they think bring harmony in the world.

The dissenting voices of the oppressed are fighting on two fronts. They are being crushed by their own totalitarian regimes and at the same time by apologists for these tyrants whom the marchers are empowering — probably without even realizing what massive harm they are doing.

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The Inevitability of Economic Collapse

The following article by David Haggith was first published on The Great Recession Blog

While I haven’t had the privilege of divine revelation, I do try to look at the forces that are in play that have the power to move nations economically. Two dominant countervailing forces right now are those who have George Soros nearly in tears — who make up the anti-global revolution — and then all the globalists like Soros who are panicking that their new world order is being shredded accompanied by all the raging anarchists that Soros can sponsor as his mercenaries.

There is some certainty here: globalists will not give up after decades of massaging and manipulating and cajoling the world in their pluralistic, globalist direction and so will wage battles everywhere they find people or candidates resisting their agenda. At the same time, those who are sick of globalism have risen up in Brexit and with Trump as their champion, and are not about to lie back down. So, conflict is certain for several years to come. That was an easy prediction for me to make earlier, and we’re seeing it play out daily now that Trump is in 0ffice as president.

Internal conflict tends to get in the way of commerce and so is likely to have economic impact. Within this milieu of daily conflict we have an economic structure in the US (and similarly in most of the rest of the world) that is so riddled with flaws that have not been fixed (and have even been made far worse) that it’s collapse is inevitable even without conflict knocking up against it.


A list of economic flaws that are too big not to fail


  • Banks that were too big to fail are now much bigger than they were in 2008 and 2009. While banks may be a little more solvent at the moment, if failure comes, the risk to the overall economy is far worse than in 2008 and 2009.
  • Banksters who destroyed the global economy were almost all rewarded with much larger bonuses, instead of thrown in jail, so they remain at large to wreck things again and even are enticed to strike again because it all worked out so well the first time; but we don’t know where and at what time their corruption will cause their failure. What we do know, is that corruption drifts that way.
  • Bailing out banks created exactly the “moral hazard” that many people warned about in 2009. As a result, one thing we do know is that bailed-out banks continued their derivative investments that caused many of the 2008 and 2009 failures. In fact, they increased their involvement in this perilous and poorly understood area of investment to such new heights that the number of derivatives in 2009 looks like an large city seen from earth-orbiting altitude — a mere spot compared to all that can be seen now.
  • Goldman Sachs, the most evil of all the companies that helped cause the global economic collapse, now has three high-level positions in the Trump administration, versus the one that it had in the Obama admin. It, in essence now oversees the whole US financial system — the Fed, the National Economic Council, and the Treasury.
  • Thanks to the revoking of Glass-Steagall, Banks are still allowed to invest in risky assets like stocks, and the Federal Reserve has even talked about investing directly in stocks as its next recovery plan, even though the revoking of Glass-Steagall played a major role in setting the US up for the Great Recession.
  • Trump plans to roll back Dodd-Frank (Glass-Steagall’s half-hearted replacement). That means there will be no correction to this serious economic aberration for a long time. Because the Fed can print infinite amounts of money at its own discretion and give it to banks or maybe even start investing it directly, there is no legal limit to how much the Fed and its member bank’s can manipulate the stock market … so long as the keep overall inflation (which doesn’t count stocks) and jobs under control. So, for economic recovery, we’re returning to the old tricks of banking deregulation to loosen up credit; we’ve all seen how beautifully banks policed themselves, as Alan Greenspan assured us they would.
  • Likewise, we are returning to trickle-down economics, and are about to trump it up higher than under Reagan or GW Bush. We’ve had many years of trickle-down economics over the past thirty years, and clearly it has diminished the middle class and shifted wealth to the top one percent to where our market economy is now weaker because it was a well-off middle class that constituted that market. We’ve learned nothing!
  • The national debt, which was completely absurd at $10,000,000,000,000 by the end of the Bush administration, has now doubled to $20,000,000,000,000, thanks to the Obama administration.
  • Trump’s infrastructure stimulus plan and military buildup are, so far, estimated to add somewhere between $5 trillion and $10 trillion to that debt over a decade. That means we’ll likely continue Obama’s $1 trillion annual deficit. Thus, we fully plan to keep continue the immoral game of spending all of the next generation’s money to buy the things we need, build up our military and to fund our generous welfare to immigrants and other nations. We’ve learned nothing!
  • Corporate debt has also increased to stratospheric levels, and that debt was a big part of what was keeping stock prices rising as companies created market demand for their own shares by buying them back, which also reduces supply to drive up prices.
  • The stock market, which I believe is already a bubble, is ballooning in speculation of Trump’s grand credit card (not because earnings have greatly improved, for those calculations look more jury-rigged than ever).
  • Housing prices are back up to the same insane levels they reached in 2007 in most of the US, which could only be supported by loose terms of credit back then. The move back up to those prices has mostly been accomplished by resorting again to looser terms of credit. So, we’re back in a housing bubble because real wages are no better now than they were then. (We learned nothing!)
  • Banks continued to issue adjustable-rate mortgages, which we experienced as being safe when home values are rising, but devastating time bombs if home values fall so that people cannot refinance their way out of them when the interest increase hits.
  • Home values have just started declining in several key markets, particularly at the top end, meaning some of those adjustable-rate mortgages bombs may be nearing their final ticks.
  • Interest on all of that debt (housing, corporate, government) remains at historically low levels, but started rising at an historically rapid rate in the last few months, even without the Fed moving its targets, due in part to anticipation of the financing Trump will have to do to carry out his infrastructure plans.


That’s just domestically. Internationally, two of the oldest and largest banks in Europe keep teetering on the edge of collapse. All of Italy’s banks are structurally unsound because they continue to carry the bad debt from the 2008-2009 financial collapse because they cannot afford to write it off. Greece is still walking the fine edge of bankruptcy. Spain, Portugal and Ireland look marginal at best.


Trends determine ends


These are all problems that are major trends. They are also all structural economic flaws that existed prior to 2007 and that contributed to the economic collapse that started in 2007 and became known by 2008 as the Great Recession. Nothing (or, at best, very little) has been done about them. Nothing is even being talked about being done about them in any serious way. Therefore, nothing is going to be done about them. In fact, all of these flaws are worse today than they were in 2008!

That means they will continue to grow until they erupt in turmoil again. Exactly when I’m not as certain because the election changed things. Trumps stimulus plans on the national credit are so huge they are bound to create some temporary lift, but Trump and his cabinetful of bankster-barons are not going to be able to stop these numerous trends from crushing us. For one thing, Trump has expressed no plans to solve any of these overwhelming structural flaws that are trending against us, some of which are past solving (like the national debt). It is questionable he and his cabinet even believe they are important.

Ultimately, his short-term stimulus will make some of the items on this list worse in the long term. Huge tax breaks for the rich will give some temporary economic boost if they ever make it through congress, but they will also create more economic disparity as the cost. That means more political conflict as the gap between the rich and the poor widens more quickly than we’ve ever seen before. The boost, if it happens, will also come at the cost of much more national debt. So, the longterm economic damage will be significant as it has been after all previous periods of trickle-down economics, marching us toward more debt and decline.

The cabinetful of bankster-barons will not likely start putting banksters in jail. They will even less likely break up banks that are too big to fail. They will not put the Fed out of business or the nation back onto the gold standard. They will not likely put Hillary in jail. None of that is going to happen. Or, at least, very little of it.

As it turns out, the first major wave of the Epocalypse that I predicted for 2016 turned out to be political — a revolt against the establishment — rather than economic. Now, the counter-revolution has begun as liberals start fighting back. While I certainly don’t want the non-globalists to back down, you can be certain the globalist establishment isn’t about to back down either. Efforts will intensify on both sides as the pressures above continue to build unabated, making 2017 a year of intensifying battles while the economic time bomb keeps ticking away because no one is paying attention to these structural flaws. We’re too busy fighting over other things.

If anyone doesn’t think this is the Epocalypse, that’s only because they started thinking too certainly that it would happen in a particular way and didn’t note the caveats I gave along the way that said the exact order of events is unpredictable — that an election year could change the timing — but economic failure is assured, and the timing would not be long delayed.


My next article on The Great Recession Blog will look at the possibilities of when economic collapse will happen by examining the forces in the upcoming year (the headwinds) that are either certain or very likely to add pressure to this top-heavy structure with crumbling foundation.

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