Taking a Peek Into the World’s Richest Countries

If wealth is power, then Qataris have some serious muscle to flex. The Persian Gulf emirate of 1.7 million people ranks as the world’s richest country per capita thanks to a rebound in oil prices and its massive natural gas reserves. Adjusted for purchasing power, Qatar booked an estimated gross domestic product per capita of more than $88,000 for 2010.

In second place on our list is the mighty minnow Luxembourg, with a per capita GDP on a purchasing-power parity basis of just over $81,000. It’s followed at No. 3 by the city-state of Singapore, which thrives as a technology, manufacturing and finance hub with a GDP (PPP) per capita of nearly $56,700.


Like Qatar, many of the countries in the top 15 spots on our list rely on natural resources to fill their coffers. In Norway, which ranks fourth, petroleum accounts for nearly half of exports and is the main contributor to its PPP-adjusted GDP per capita of nearly $52,000. Brunei, meanwhile, located on the island of Borneo, reaps the benefits of extensive petroleum and natural gas fields and comes in at No. 5 with a PPP-adjusted per capita GDP of just over $48,000. And the United Arab Emirates looks to its oil and gas for about 25% of its GDP, which is nearly $47,500 per capita (PPP).

To rank the world’s wealthiest countries, Forbes looked at GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power for 182 nations. We used International Monetary Fund data from 2010, the most recent available. The PPP-adjusted GDP—preferred by economists when making international comparisons—takes into account the relative cost of living and inflation rates, rather than just exchange rates, which may distort real differences in worth.

Source: Forbes

Image: Economy Watch

Euro Ultimately Doomed?

Euro Ultimately Doomed?

As European leaders unveil their latest plan to solve the debt crisis, economists and market experts aren’t convinced they’ll actually be successful. At least one group says there are one too many obstacles and chances are, the currency union will break up, triggering an end of the euro as we know it.

“Three years after the first ‘once in a generation’ financial crisis, we may now be entering the end game for a euro of 17 countries,” said Graeme Leach, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, a London-based non-political organization comprising 43,000 business leaders worldwide, but primarily in the United Kingdom.

Leach argues that the collapse of the euro is inevitable without the ECB’s virtually limitless financial support. ECB President Mario Draghi has firmly said, time and time again, that the central bank’s only mandate is to prevent inflation. The latest moves are steps in the right direction, but much more is needed, say experts.

European leaders, particularly from France and Germany — the eurozone’s two largest economies — have had very different views on the ultimate role of the fiscal compact, and the latest proposals are just “too little, too late, and miss the structural problem,” said Leach.

European leaders have a lot of work to do, and kicking the can down the road only increases the risks of an end to the eurozone. Despite the multitude and extent of the political disagreements that could lead to the eurozone’s crumble in the near-term, more optimistic experts say Europe’s leaders will likely find a middle ground to avoid the severe economic consequences.

 

Source: CNN.com