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Although the banks' dividend to shareholders is shrinking, it still accounted for half of the combined dividends of all public companies in China. The banks' earnings also made up 52% of the total profits reported by listed companies last year.
It is not hard to think of recent examples, from Hugo Chávez to Viktor Orban and Vladimir Putin.
Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden are the world's happiest countries, according to the survey of 156 countries. Rwanda, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Benin and Togo -- all nations in Sub-Saharan Africa -- are the least satisfied with their lives, the report said. China ranks 93rd in the list.