This week’s EconTalk guest is Steven Kaplan talking about the top 1%. He and co-author Joshua Rauh gathered as much data as they could about the composition of the top 1%. They get all of the CEO’s of publicly-traded companies, the richest hedge fund managers, Wall Street execs, athletes, celebrities and some lawyers. They miss some lawyers, some celebs, execs and owners of privately-held companies. Kaplan argues that the richest Americans today are richer than the richest Americans of the past is because of globalization (scale to use one’s talents) and technology.
I pushed the idea that creditor bailouts let Wall Street execs use more leverage and enhance their pay. He didn’t like the idea much. We have a nice back and forth towards the end.