Great Big Report Puts U.S. On Top


No. 52, with a vengeance: A Venezuelan tanker docks in Honduras, part of a drive President Hugo Chavez to give Caribbean countries preferential pricing. Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Click to hear Nouriel Roubini make sense of it all.

On Tuesday, the World Economic Form unleashed the first ever Financial Development Index. The report pulls together 120 variables on the economies in 52 nations. The United States slid into first place ahead of the United Kingdom — by .02. Germany's third, with the Netherlands and Singapore clinging to the bottom of the top 10.

This week I caught up with one of the project's great minds, economist Nouriel Roubini. Roubini says the report is designed to help countries get a grip on their economic shortcomings — but it can also help people like me figure out where to put our (buckets and buckets of) money.

Oh, and one other thing: The U.S. came out on top for now, but with all that rattling in our banking system — Fannie/Freddie, Lehman Brothers and the rest — we can't rest too easily.

Grab the report for yourself. It's 362 pages, but much of that acreage is in charts for individual countries. Don't be scared of it.



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