Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

[...] there’s a point that nevertheless goes strangely unmentioned in the Cotis report: firms have been pampering their shareholders in recent years, resulting in a troubling fall in the share of profits devoted to investment. This reality is hidden by the authors’ choice to focus on gross profits, or profits before deducting capital depreciation. But since productive capital is always depreciating, worn-out equipment must be upgraded or replaced before any new investments can be made: computers are regularly upgraded, buildings and other assets have to be maintained and repaired, and so on. From an economic as well as a tax point of view, the relevant concept is net profit—profit after deducting depreciation. These net profits are more difficult to estimate, but since INSEE takes the trouble to produce the best possible estimates of depreciation, it would be better to use them than to leave them unmentioned. Especially since the overall picture of profit distribution changes completely when you move from gross to net profits. The Cotis report tells us that over the last twenty years, gross profits have been 32–33 percent of firms’ value added, versus 67–68 percent for wages, which is true. But capital depreciation has been around 15–16 percent of value added, or roughly half of gross profits. In other words, pretty pie charts showing that firms generously devote half their profits to investment are kind of a joke. The truth is that companies replace old equipment before they pay their shareholders—which is the least they can do. If we use net profits, however, we see that firms paid out practically all their profits to their owners, in the form of interest and dividends. [...]

—p.62 Forgotten Inequalities (60) by Thomas Piketty 4 years, 4 months ago