Home > The Economy > Citigroup attempts to disappear its Plutonomy Report #2

Citigroup attempts to disappear its Plutonomy Report #2

The reports are available (for the time being: 20 June 2011 here and here

from Edward Fullbrook

In 2005 and 2006 Citigroup issued two now notorious but highly significant reports for the exclusive use of its richest clients.  The first, from October 16, 2005, was “Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalance”. This 35 page report begins:

The World is dividing into two blocs – the Plutonomy and the rest. The U.S., UK, and Canada are the key Plutonomies – economies powered by the wealthy. Continental Europe (ex-Italy) and Japan are in the egalitarian bloc.

Equity risk premium embedded in “global imbalances” are unwarranted. In plutonomies the rich absorb a disproportionate chunk of the economy and have a massive impact on reported aggregate numbers like savings rates, current account deficits, consumption levels, etc. This imbalance in inequality expresses itself in the standard scary “global imbalances”. We worry less.

There is no “average consumer” in a Plutonomy. Consensus analyses focusing on the “average” consumer are flawed from the start.

And it continued:

We project that the plutonomies (the U.S., UK, and Canada) will likely see even more income inequality, disproportionately feeding off a further rise in the profit share in their economies, capitalist-friendly governments, more technology-driven productivity, and globalization.

The full report is available here http://www.scribd.com/doc/23321255/Citigroup-Mar-5-2006-Plutonomy-Report-Leaked-Citigroup-Memo-Part1

Citigroup’s second Plutonomy report, titled “Revisiting Plutonomy: The Rich Getting Richer”, was issued on March 5, 2006 and began:

The latest Survey of Consumer Finance data was released Friday 24th of February. It shows that the rich in the US continue to be in great shape. We thought this was good time to bang the drum on plutonomy.

Back in October, we coined the term ‘Plutonomy’ (The Global Investigator, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, October 14 2005). Our thesis is that the rich are the dominant drivers of demand in many economies around the world (the US, UK, Canada and Australia). These economies have seen the rich take an increasing share of income and wealth over the last 20 years, to the extent that the rich now dominate income, wealth and spending in these countries. Asset booms, a rising profit share and favourable treatment by market-friendly governments have allowed the rich to prosper and become a greater share of the economy in the plutonomy countries. Also, new media dissemination technologies like internet downloading, cable and satellite TV, have disproportionately increased the audiences, and hence gains to “superstars” – think golf, soccer, and baseball players, music/TV and movie icons, fashion models, designers, celebrity chefs etc. These “content” providers, the tech whizzes who own the pipes and distribution, the lawyers and bankers who intermediate globalization and productivity, the CEOs who lead the charge in converting globalization and technology to increase the profit share of the economy at the expense of labor, all contribute to plutonomy. Indeed, David Gordon and Ian Dew-Becker of the NBER demonstrate that the top 10%, particularly the top 1% of the US – the plutonomists in our parlance – have benefited disproportionately from the recent productivity surge in the US.


Both reports were leaked and made available on the WEB. Michael Moore referred to them in Capitalism: a love story, and the now retired US newscaster Bill Moyers has called attention to them.  But they seem to have been largely ignored by scholars. They should be required reading.  But now Citibank is trying to suppress “Revisiting Plutonomy: The Rich Getting Richer”.  They have succeeded in getting the second plutonomy report removed from Scrib.  Where it used to be, it now reads “This content was removed at the request of Citigroup, Inc.”  It is still available here http://www.mygreencard.com/downloads.php?file=CitigroupPlutonony_October2009.pdf  Scholars should download both Plutonomy Reports while they are still available.

  1. merijnknibbe
    November 11, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Remarkable: except for its conclusions it reads like a ‘loony left’ analysis…

    • June 20, 2011 at 2:22 pm

      Well, the looney left is only “looney” because they are portrayed that way, not because they have any particularly looney beliefs.

  2. November 11, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    I’ve tried to download the report from the link provided; after several failed attempts, I found this:


    “This content was removed at the request of Citigroup, Inc.”

    Right, there is no such thing as class struggle ….

  3. November 11, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Don’t mean to be redundant, BUT both reports have been removed from Scrbd. I managed to get #2 from the Greencard site…

    Dean Baker was excellent on C-Span this morning….

  4. Stan
    November 11, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    You can find the first report here:

    Click to access downloads.php

  5. merijnknibbe
    November 11, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    There might be a connection with Robert Gordon. The reports mention the inequality research of Robert Gordon, while Robert Gordon later tried to tune down the significance of his own findings on inequality with the help the same kind of ‘plutocratic consumption price index (pcpi)’ which is used in the report.

  6. christianfoust
    December 9, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Could anyone who downloaded this please email it to me. I would greatly appreciate it as none of the links are currently functioning. My email is civileconomies@gmail.com


  7. December 31, 2010 at 8:43 pm


  8. Milton D. Lower
    January 3, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    It appears that Citigroup has managed to “disappear” its unwanted materials out from under you. The link you provided no longer works.

  9. Uncle Paul
    January 8, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    This “plutonomy” theory gives the lie to two pets of the “orthodox” economics world. First, rich people are supposed to be good for the economy because they invest, not because they spend. Second, and linked, income concentration is supposed to result in more funds for investment and therefore (eventually) jobs [sometimes called “trickle-down”]. From a strictly analytic point of view, “plutonomy” seems a better description of reality (at least in USA/UK/Canada) than does ‘free enterprise capitalism”. Behold the Dark Side!
    “Plutonomy” gives us a conceptual lens to see the less-than-pretty side of our society. For this reason, I personally find it rather useful, notwithstanding such a ‘belly-of-the-beast” source.

  10. June 20, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I have these documents on a Public Dropbox folder, to share with anyone who wants them. Just send e-mail to gil –AT– merced-a.com for the link.

  11. Bobby
    June 20, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    wiglyworm :
    Well, the looney left is only “looney” because they are portrayed that way, not because they have any particularly looney beliefs.

    That is not true. They present themselves as looney, as well.

  12. Nikolai
    June 21, 2011 at 2:07 am

    Bobby, the right-wingers are so… TOGETHER, eh? Like say, Bachmann, Palin, etal?

  13. June 22, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Easier download of both documents:
    Plutonomy, Part One: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=L9NV6RN6
    Plutonomy, Part Two: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=M7Q0AQLR

  14. Enchi Lada
    December 11, 2011 at 2:19 am

    Citigroup reports available for download here:


  15. December 22, 2011 at 9:18 am

    crooked people, crooked corporations, crooked government, crooked world. deal with it, get used to it, cuz it aint changing anytime soon, if ever. money and corporations rule the world. banks are too big to bring down, we (taxpayers) just bail them out with no reprocussions. then they spend their (our) money any way they want. i hate the system. this country is going down the tubes. live on occupy wall street, run those crooks outta here!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Fred Thekat
    January 11, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    When I try to oped the PDF at the above link (http://www.mygreencard.com/downloads.php?file=CitigroupPlutonony_October2009.pdf ), I get an error that it is not a valid PDF

  17. Maria Helena Marrana
    April 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Can someonoe please e-mail me the report? I can’t find it anywhere. My e-mail is leninha.marrana@gmail.com.

    Thank you,

  18. June 30, 2012 at 2:17 am
  19. November 18, 2012 at 2:58 am

    > Well, better late than never. So, if you can’t get a copy of the reports for your students or current project, check out Moore’s very well done film, Capitalism: A Love Story or any of the many other excellent films/videos available via Youtube on the ancient reality/process Citicorp called Plutonomy. For an extensive analysis of the causes and effects of the Plutonomy game (capitalism’s End Game scenario, like the end of every game of Monopoly [the board game]), see the “Awareness & Values” page at my Greenbook blogsite on blogspot.com or check out a copy of Max-Neef’s new book, Economics Unmasked. Blessings of Courage & Ruthless Self-Honesty – M

  20. May 14, 2013 at 6:25 pm
  21. ybera
    December 1, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Isn’t this the sort of thing Gladwell was popularizing in his books. Pretty sad actually. Writing the hagiography of the plutocrats has always been an unfortunate role. You got to admire the cluelessness of people who deny the down and praise the up as if gravity had nothing to do with it. Plutocracies always destroy themselves, and many innocents along with them. Plutocrats repent, your end is near.

  22. March 20, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    I’m not able to download part 2 from anywhere, please email yusif@yusifmusic.com I am an artist and activist interested in learning more and sharing these revelations with others. Thanks

  23. Marco
    March 25, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    anyone who wants this report (but can’t find it on their own); email me at MarcoHardmeier@gmail.com and I will email you the pdf copy.

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