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Olympics 2021: Comparing Every Sports Ball

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The Briefing

  • Table tennis has the smallest sports ball used in the Tokyo Olympics at just 4cm in diameter and 2.7g in weight.
  • The biggest by size is the basketball at 24.35cm in diameter, but the shot is more than 10 times heavier at 7.26kg.

Olympics 2021: Comparing Every Sports Ball

It might be strange having the Olympics in 2021 (an odd year), but 2020 was anything but normal.

After facing a 12-month delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are set to kick off from July 23 to August 8.

In addition to hosting traditional sports like running and aquatics, some sports are being introduced for the first time (karate, skateboarding) or returning after an absence (baseball).

One thing that many Olympic sports share in common? There are 17 different sports that use balls or spheres of some sort, ranging in size and weight. Here are the different balls used in the Tokyo Olympics.

Olympic Sports Balls by Size and Weight

The 2021 Olympics, which are still officially called the 2020 Olympics to keep the four-year cycle and branding consistent, are hosting 339 events across 33 different sports.

17 of those sports use balls or spheres. The official sizes and weights vary from a small diameter of 4cm for table tennis to the largest ball, a basketball with a diameter of 24.35cm.

Sport Diameter Weight
Table Tennis 4.00cm 2.7g
Golf 4.27cm 45.93g
Tennis 6.70cm 57.7g
Field Hockey 7.48cm 163g
Baseball 7.50cm 149g
Softball 9.55cm 177g
Shot Put 12.00cm 7,260g
Handball (Women’s) 17.51cm 350g
Handball (Men’s) 18.78cm 450g
Rhythmic Gymnastics 19.00cm 400g
Volleyball 21.01cm 270g
Water Polo (Women’s) 21.01cm 425g
Beach Volleyball 21.33cm 270g
Soccer 21.96cm 432.5g
Water Polo (Men’s) 22.28cm 425g
Basketball (Women’s) 23.24cm 538g
Basketball (Men’s) 24.35cm 608g

Even within the same categories of sports, balls have different size and weight rules based on event or gender. Water polo, handball, and basketball all have slight variations of a few centimeters in diameter and up to 100g in weight for different gender events.

But sorting the balls by weight shows that the shot is far and away the heaviest. At 7.26kg, the shot is more than 10 times heavier than a basketball. That’s because while most sporting balls are made of light material filled with air, shots are typically constructed entirely of metal.

Where does this data come from?

Source: Wired, Official Sport Rulebooks.

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Visualized: The Biggest Ponzi Schemes in Modern History

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Biggest Ponzi Schemes

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The Biggest Ponzi Schemes in Modern History

Some things simply sound too good to be true, but when money is involved, our judgement can become clouded.

This is often the case with Ponzi schemes, a type of financial fraud that lures investors by promising abnormally high returns. Money brought in by new members is used to pay the scheme’s founders, as well as its earlier investors.

The scheme is named after Charles Ponzi, an Italian who became infamous in the 1920s for claiming he could double his clients’ money within 90 days. Since then, numerous Ponzi schemes have been orchestrated around the globe.

To help you learn more about these sophisticated crimes, this infographic examines some of the biggest Ponzi schemes in modern history.

Ponzi Schemes in the 20th Century

The 1990s saw a number of large Ponzi schemes worth upwards of $500 million.

Country Date Ended Name of Scheme and Founder Value (USD)
Belgium 1991 Moneytron, Jean-Pierre Van Rossem $860M
Romania 1994 Caritas, Ioan Stoica $1B – $5B
Russia 1994 MMM, Sergei Mavrodi $10B
U.S. 1997 Great Ministries International, Geral Payne $500M

In many cases, these schemes thrived by taking advantage of the unsuspecting public who often lacked any knowledge of investing. Caritas, for example, was a Ponzi scheme based in Romania that marketed itself as a “self-help game” for the poor.

The scheme was initially very successful, tricking millions of people into making deposits by offering the chance to earn an 800% return after three months. This was not sustainable, and Caritas was eventually unable to distribute further winnings.

Caritas operated for only two years, but its “success” was undeniable. In 1993, it was estimated that a third of the country’s money was circulating through the scheme.

Ponzi Schemes in the 21st Century

The American public has fallen victim to numerous multi-billion dollar Ponzi schemes since the beginning of the 21st century.

Country Date Ended Name of Scheme and Founder Value (USD)
U.S. 2003 Mutual Benefits Company, Joel Steinger $1B
U.S. 2003 Petters Group Worldwide, Tom Petters $4B
U.S. 2008 Madoff Investment Scandal, Bernie Madoff $65B
U.S. 2012 Stanford Financial Group, Allen Stanford $7B

Many of these schemes have made major headlines, but much less is said about the thousands of everyday Americans that were left in financial ruin.

For victims of the Madoff Investment Scandal, receiving any form of compensation has been a drawn-out process. In 2018, 10 years after the scheme was uncovered, a court-appointed trustee managed to recover $13 billion by liquidating Madoff’s firm and personal assets.

As NPR reported, investors may recover up to 60 to 70 percent of their initial investment only. For victims who had to delay retirement or drastically alter their lifestyles, this compensation likely provides little solace.

Do the Crime, Pay the Time

Running a Ponzi scheme is likely to land you in jail for a long time, at least in the U.S.

In 2009, for example, 71-year-old Bernie Madoff pled guilty to 11 federal felonies and was sentenced to 150 years in prison. That’s 135 years longer than the average U.S. murder conviction.

Outside of the U.S., it’s a much different story. Weaker regulation and enforcement, particularly in developing countries, means a number of schemes are ongoing today.

Sergei Mavrodi, known for running the Russian Ponzi scheme MMM, started a new organization shortly after being released from prison in 2011. Now known as MMM Global, the self-described “social financial network” has established a base in several Southeast Asian and African countries.

If you or someone you know is worried about falling victim to a Ponzi scheme, this checklist from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may be a useful resource.

The post Visualized: The Biggest Ponzi Schemes in Modern History appeared first on Visual Capitalist.


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Top 50 Companies Proportion of World GDP

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The Briefing

  • The combined market cap of the world’s top 50 companies was proportional to 27.6% of global GDP in 2020, up from just 4.7% of global GDP in 1990
  • Tech’s role continues to grow, now accounting for 21 of the top 50 companies

Top 50 Companies Proportion of World GDP

The world’s top 50 companies have become increasingly more valuable, and more powerful, over time.

As global GDP has grown over the last four decades, from $23.6 trillion in 1990 to $84.5 trillion in 2020, the proportional share of the world’s top companies by market capitalization has grown over five-fold.

Year Global GDP Top 50 Companies Market Cap as a % of GDP
1990 $23.6T 4.7%
2000 $34.0T 22.1%
2010 $66.2T 12.7%
2020 $84.5T 27.6%

Though the world’s top 50 companies change year-to-year, there’s also a lot of overlap.

Which Companies Dominated Each Decade?

2020’s largest company by market cap, Apple at $2.26 trillion, was the third largest company in 2010. Likewise, 2010’s largest company was Exxon Mobil, which was the second largest company in both 1990 and 2000 (but has since fallen off).

The top 50 companies in the world also highlight the increasing role of tech in the modern market. 1990’s largest company IBM was just one of three tech companies that made the ranking that year. Even in 2000, when the world’s largest company was GE, tech companies like Cisco and Microsoft only made up three of the top 10 companies by market cap.

Fast forward to 2020, and tech accounted for 42% of the top 50 companies in the world. It also plays a more prominent role on the high end of the spectrum, as six of 2020’s seven largest companies were tech-based, with only oil giant Saudi Aramco the odd one out.

Though digitization is a primary driver of current economic growth, will these trends remain steady in 10 or more years from now? Or will companies from other booming industries such as green energy take over the leaderboard?

>>Like this? You might find this article interesting, 23 Years of Shifting Tech Market Caps

Where does this data come from?

Source: Bloomberg, IMF.

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Ranked: The Most Innovative Companies in 2021

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Top 50 Most Innovative Companies 2021

Ranked: the Top 50 Most Innovative Companies in 2021

This year has been rife with pandemic-induced changes that have shifted corporate priorities—and yet, innovation has remained a top concern among corporations worldwide.

Using data from the annual ranking done by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) using a poll of 1,600 global innovation professionals, this graphic ranks the top 50 most innovative companies in 2021.

We’ll dig into a few of the leading companies, along with their innovative practices, below.

Most Innovative Companies: A Breakdown of the Leaderboard

To create the top 50 innovative company ranking, BCG uses four variables:

  • Global “Mindshare”: The number of votes from all innovation executives.
  • Industry Peer Review: The number of votes from executives in a company’s industry.
  • Industry Disruption: A diversity index to measure votes across industries.
  • Value Creation: Total share return.

For the second year in a row, Apple claims the top spot on this list. Here’s a look at the full ranking for 2021:

  Company Industry HQ Change from 2020
1 Apple Technology 🇺🇸 U.S.
2 Alphabet Technology 🇺🇸 U.S.
3 Amazon Consumer Goods 🇺🇸 U.S.
4 Microsoft Technology 🇺🇸 U.S.
5 Tesla Transport & Energy 🇺🇸 U.S. +6
6 Samsung Technology 🇰🇷 South Korea -1
7 IBM Technology 🇺🇸 U.S. +1
8 Huawei Technology 🇨🇳 China -2
9 Sony Consumer Goods 🇯🇵 Japan
10 Pfizer Healthcare 🇺🇸 U.S. Return
11 Siemens Technology 🇩🇪 Germany +10
12 LG Electronics Consumer Goods 🇰🇷 South Korea +6
13 Facebook Technology 🇺🇸 U.S. -3
14 Alibaba Consumer Goods 🇨🇳 China -7
15 Oracle Technology 🇺🇸 U.S. +10
16 Dell Technology 🇺🇸 U.S. +4
17 Cisco Systems Technology 🇺🇸 U.S. -5
18 Target Consumer Goods 🇺🇸 U.S. +4
19 HP Inc. Technology 🇺🇸 U.S. -4
20 Johnson & Johnson Healthcare 🇺🇸 U.S. +6
21 Toyota Transport & Energy 🇯🇵 Japan +20
22 Salesforce Technology 🇺🇸 U.S. +13
23 Walmart Consumer Goods 🇺🇸 U.S. -10
24 Nike Consumer Goods 🇺🇸 U.S. -8
25 Lenovo Technology 🇭🇰 Hong Kong SAR Return
26 Tencent Consumer Goods 🇨🇳 China -12
27 Procter & Gamble Consumer Goods 🇺🇸 U.S. +12
28 Coca-Cola Consumer Goods 🇺🇸 U.S. +20
29 Abbott Labs Healthcare 🇺🇸 U.S. New
30 Bosch Transport & Energy 🇩🇪 Germany +3
31 Xiaomi Technology 🇨🇳 China -7
32 Ikea Consumer Goods 🇳🇱 Netherlands Return
33 Fast Retailing Consumer Goods 🇯🇵 Japan Return
34 Adidas Consumer Goods 🇩🇪 Germany Return
35 Merck & Co. Healthcare 🇺🇸 U.S. Return
36 Novartis Healthcare 🇨🇭 Switzerland +11
37 Ebay Consumer Goods 🇺🇸 U.S. Return
38 PepsiCo Consumer Goods 🇺🇸 U.S. Return
39 Hyundai Transport & Energy 🇰🇷 South Korea Return
40 SAP Technology 🇩🇪 Germany -13
41 Inditex Consumer Goods 🇪🇸 Spain Return
42 Moderna Healthcare 🇺🇸 U.S. New
43 Philips Healthcare 🇳🇱 Netherlands -20
44 Disney Media & Telecomms 🇺🇸 U.S. Return
45 Mitsubishi Transport & Energy 🇯🇵 Japan New
46 Comcast Media & Telecomms 🇺🇸 U.S. New
47 GE Transport & Energy 🇺🇸 U.S. Return
48 Roche Healthcare 🇨🇭 Switzerland Return
49 AstraZeneca Healthcare 🇬🇧 UK New
50 Bayer Healthcare 🇩🇪 Germany -12

One company worth touching on is Pfizer, a returnee from previous years that ranked 10th in this year’s ranking. It’s no surprise that Pfizer made the list, considering its instrumental role in the fight against COVID-19. In partnership with BioNTech, Pfizer produced a COVID-19 vaccine in less than a year. This is impressive considering that, historically, vaccine development could take up to a decade to complete.

Pfizer is just one of four COVID-19 vaccine producers to appear on the list this year—Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca also made the cut.

Meanwhile, in a completely different industry, Toyota snagged the 21st spot on this year’s list, up 20 places compared to the rankings in the previous year. This massive jump can be signified by the company’s recent $400 million investment into a company set to build flying electric cars.

While we often think of R&D and innovation as being synonymous, the former is just one innovation technique that’s helped companies earn a spot on the list. Other companies have innovated in different ways, like streamlining processes to increase efficiency.

For instance, in 2021, Coca-Cola performed an analysis of their beverage portfolio and ended up cutting their brand list in half, from 400 to 200 global brands. This ability to pare down and pivot could be a reason behind its 20 rank increase from 2020.

Innovation Creates Value

As this year’s ranking indicates, innovation comes in many forms. But, while there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, there is one fairly consistent innovation trend—the link between innovation and value.

In fact, according to historical data from BCG, the correlation between value and innovation has grown even stronger over the last two decades.

Most Innovative Companies 2021

For example, in 2020, a portfolio that was theoretically invested in BCG’s most innovative companies would have performed 17% better than the MSCI World Index—which wasn’t the case back in 2005.

And yet, despite innovation’s value, many companies can’t reap the benefits that innovation offers because they aren’t ready to scale their innovative practices.

The Innovation Readiness Gap

BCG uses several metrics to gauge a company’s “innovation readiness,” such as the strength of its talent and culture, its organization ecosystems, and its ability to track performance.

According to BCG’s analysis, only 20% of companies surveyed were ready to scale on innovation.

Scaling Innovation

What’s holding companies back from reaching their innovation potential? The most significant gap seems to be in what BCG calls innovation practices—things like project management or the ability to execute an idea that’s both efficient and consistent with an overarching strategy.

To overcome this obstacle, BCG says companies need to foster a “one-team mentality” to increase interdepartmental collaboration and align team incentives, so everyone is working towards the same goal.

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The Top 100 Companies of the World: The U.S. vs Everyone Else

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Top 100 Companies of the World vs US

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The Top 100 Companies of the World: U.S. vs Everyone

When it comes to breaking down the top 100 companies of the world, the United States still commands the largest slice of the pie.

Throughout the 20th century and before globalization reached its current peaks, American companies made the country an economic powerhouse and the source of a majority of global market value.

But even as countries like China have made headway with multi-billion dollar companies of their own, and the market’s most important sectors have shifted, the U.S. has managed to stay on top.

How do the top 100 companies of the world stack up? This visualization pulls from PwC’s annual ranking of the world’s largest companies, using market capitalization data from May 2021.

Where are the World’s Largest Companies Located?

The world’s top 100 companies account for a massive $31.7 trillion in market cap, but that wealth is not distributed evenly.

Between companies, there’s a wide range of market caps. For example, the difference between the world’s largest company (Apple) and the 100th largest (Anheuser-Busch) is $1.9 trillion.

And between countries, that divide becomes even more stark. Of the 16 countries with companies making the top 100 ranking, the U.S. accounts for 65% of the total market cap value.

Location # of Companies Market Capitalization (May 2021)
🇺🇸 United States 59 $20.55T
🇨🇳 China 14 $4.19T
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia 1 $1.92T
🇨🇭 Switzerland 3 $0.82T
🇳🇱 Netherlands 3 $0.58T
🇯🇵 Japan 3 $0.56T
🇫🇷 France 2 $0.55T
🇩🇪 Germany 3 $0.46T
🇰🇷 South Korea 1 $0.43T
🇬🇧 United Kingdom 3 $0.43T
🇮🇳 India 2 $0.34T
🇮🇪 Ireland 2 $0.34T
🇦🇺 Australia 1 $0.16T
🇩🇰 Denmark 1 $0.16T
🇨🇦 Canada 1 $0.13T
🇧🇪 Belgium 1 $0.13T

Compared to the U.S., other once-prominent markets like Japan, France, and the UK have seen their share of the world’s top 100 companies falter over the years. In fact, all of Europe accounts for just $3.46 trillion or 11% of the total market cap value of the list.

A major reason for the U.S. dominance in market values is a shift in important industries and contributors. Of the world’s top 100 companies, 52% were based in either technology or consumer discretionary, and the current largest players like Apple, Alphabet, Tesla, and Walmart are all American-based.

The Top 100 Companies of the World: Competition From China

The biggest and most impressive competitor to the U.S. is China.

With 14 companies of its own in the world’s top 100, China accounted for $4.19 trillion or 13% of the top 100’s total market cap value. That includes two of the top 10 firms by market cap, Tencent and Alibaba.

  Company Country Sector Market Cap (May 2021)
#1 Apple United States Technology $2,051B
#2 Saudi Aramco Saudi Arabia Energy $1,920B
#3 Microsoft United States Technology $1,778B
#4 Amazon United States Consumer Discretionary $1,558B
#5 Alphabet United States Technology $1,393B
#6 Facebook United States Technology $839B
#7 Tencent China Technology $753B
#8 Tesla United States Consumer Discretionary $641B
#9 Alibaba China Consumer Discretionary $615B
#10 Berkshire Hathway United States Financials $588B
#11 TSMC China Technology $534B
#12 Visa United States Industrials $468B
#13 JPMorgan Chase United States Financials $465B
#14 Johnson & Johnson United States Health Care $433B
#15 Samsung Electronics South Korea Technology $431B
#16 Kweichow Moutai China Consumer Staples $385B
#17 Walmart United States Consumer Discretionary $383B
#18 Mastercard United States Industrials $354B
#19 UnitedHealth Group United States Health Care $352B
#20 LVMH Moët Hennessy France Consumer Discretionary $337B
#21 Walt Disney Co United States Consumer Discretionary $335B
#22 Bank of America United States Financials $334B
#23 Procter & Gamble United States Consumer Staples $333B
#24 Nvidia United States Technology $331B
#25 Home Depot United States Consumer Discretionary $329B
#26 Nestle SA Switzerland Consumer Staples $322B
#27 ICBC China Financials $290B
#28 Paypal Holdings United States Industrials $284B
#29 Roche Holdings Switzerland Health Care $283B
#30 Intel United States Technology $261B
#31 ASML Holding NV Netherlands Technology $255B
#32 Toyota Motor Japan Consumer Discretionary $254B
#33 Comcast United States Telecommunication $248B
#34 Verizon Communications United States Telecommunication $241B
#35 Exxon Mobil United States Energy $236B
#36 Netflix United States Consumer Discretionary $231B
#37 Adobe United States Technology $228B
#38 Coca-Cola Co United States Consumer Staples $227B
#39 Meituan China Technology $226B
#40 Ping An China Financials $219B
#41 Cisco Systems United States Telecommunication $218B
#42 AT&T United States Financials $216B
#43 L’Oréal France Consumer Discretionary $215B
#44 China Construction Bank China Financials $213B
#45 Abbott Labs United States Health Care $212B
#46 Novartis AG Switzerland Health Care $212B
#47 Nike United States Consumer Discretionary $209B
#48 Oracle United States Technology $202B
#49 Pfizer United States Health Care $202B
#50 Chevron United States Oil & Gas $202B
#51 China Merchants Bank China Financials $196B
#52 PepsiCo United States Consumer Staples $195B
#53 Salesforce.com United States Technology $195B
#54 Merck & Co United States Health Care $195B
#55 AbbVie United States Health Care $191B
#56 Broadcom United States Technology $189B
#57 Prosus NV Netherlands Technology $181B
#58 Reliance Industries India Energy $180B
#59 Thermo Fisher Scientific United States Health Care $180B
#60 Eli Lilly & Co United States Health Care $179B
#61 Agricultural Bank of China China Financials $178B
#62 Softbank Group Japan Telecommunication $176B
#63 Accenture Ireland Industrials $176B
#64 Texas Instruments United States Technology $174B
#65 McDonalds United States Consumer Discretionary $167B
#66 Volkswagen AG Germany Consumer Discretionary $165B
#67 BHP Group Australia Basic Materials $163B
#68 Wells Fargo & Co United States Financials $162B
#69 Tata Consultancy Services India Technology $161B
#70 Danaher United States Health Care $160B
#71 Novo Nordisk Denmark Health Care $160B
#72 Medtronic Ireland Health Care $159B
#73 Wuliangye Yibin China Consumer Staples $159B
#74 Costco Wholesale United States Consumer Discretionary $156B
#75 T-Mobile US United States Telecommunication $156B
#76 Citigroup United States Financials $152B
#77 Honeywell United States Industrials $151B
#78 Qualcomm United States Technology $151B
#79 SAP SE Germany Technology $151B
#80 Boeing United States Industrials $149B
#81 Royal Dutch Shell Netherlands Oil & Gas $148B
#82 NextEra Energy United States Utilities $148B
#83 United Parcel Service United States Industrials $148B
#84 Union PAC United States Industrials $148B
#85 Unilever United Kingdom Consumer Staples $147B
#86 AIA China Financials $147B
#87 Linde United Kingdom Basic Materials $146B
#88 Amgen United States Health Care $144B
#89 Bristol Myers Squibb United States Health Care $141B
#90 Siemens AG Germany Industrials $140B
#91 Bank of China China Financials $139B
#92 Philip Morris United States Consumer Staples $138B
#93 Lowe’s Companies United States Consumer Discretionary $136B
#94 Charter Communications United States Telecommunication $135B
#95 China Mobile China Telecommunication $134B
#96 Sony Group Japan Consumer Discretionary $132B
#97 Astrazeneca United Kingdom Health Care $131B
#98 Royal Bank of Canada Canada Financials $131B
#99 Starbucks United States Consumer Discretionary $129B
#100 Anheuser-Busch Belgium Consumer Staples $128B

Impressively, China’s rise in market value isn’t limited to well-known tech and consumer companies. The country’s second biggest contributing industry to the top 100 firms was finance, once also the most valuable sector in the U.S. (currently 4th behind tech, consumer discretionary, and health care).

Other notable countries on the list include Saudi Arabia and its state-owned oil and gas giant Saudi Aramco, which is the third largest company in the world. Despite only having one company in the top 100, Saudi Arabia had the third-largest share of the top 100’s total market cap value.

As Europe continues to lose ground year-over-year and the rest of Asia struggles to keep up, the top 100 companies might become increasingly concentrated in just the U.S. and China. The question is, will the imbalance of global market value start to even out, or become even bigger?

The post The Top 100 Companies of the World: The U.S. vs Everyone Else appeared first on Visual Capitalist.


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