In 2017, Global Inequality Hit A 100-Year High

Jeff Bezos, CEO of AmazonU.S. Department of Defense photo by Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz / Public Domain

The poorest "70% of the world’s working age population, account for just 2.7% of global wealth."

As the world's working class and poor have watched their wages stagnate or decline, the world's 500 wealthiest individuals saw their own wealth increase by a collective $1 trillion this year, thanks in no small part to booming stock markets.

From the Guardian:

> The globe’s 500 richest people, as measured by the Bloomberg billionaires index, have seen the value of the wealth increase by 23% so far this year, taking their combined fortunes to $5.3tn. The increase is largely the result of booming stock markets. The MSCI World Index and the US Standard & Poor’s 500 are both up almost 20% so far this year. The UK’s FTSE 100 is up more than 6% – and hit a new closing high of 7,620.7 points on Wednesday.

As wealth disparity worsens across the globe, rich people may have reason to fear the proverbial pitchfork scenario:

> The gap between the very rich and everyone else has widened to the biggest it has been in a century and advisers to the super-rich are warning them of a “strike back” from the squeezed majority.

According to the Credit Suisse global wealth report, 2.3 million new millionaires were created in the past year, bringing the total to 36 million - a group that rebounded quickly after the 2008 financial crisis and is now nearly three times its size in 2000.

> These millionaires – who account for 0.7% of the world’s adult population – control 46% of total global wealth that now stands at $280tn. At the other end of the spectrum, the world’s 3.5 billion poorest adults each have assets of less than $10,000 (£7,600). Collectively these people, who account for 70% of the world’s working age population, account for just 2.7% of global wealth.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos hangs onto his title of world's richest man by a healthy margin, closing in on a net worth of $100 billion, and a solid $8.3 billion ahead of the second wealthiest man, Bill Gates.

> His fortune has increased by $34.2bn so far this year to take his “net worth” to $99.6bn. On just one day in October Bezos’s fortune increased by $10.3bn, when Amazon posted profits much higher than analysts had expected and the company’s shares spiked.

> Bezos,53, who founded Amazon in his Seattle garage in 1994, owns 16% of the retailer. He also owns all of space exploration company Blue Origin and the Washington Post newspaper, which he bought for $250m in 2013.

The total number of billionaires worldwide now stands at 1,542:

> The world’s super-rich hold the greatest concentration of wealth since the US Gilded Age at the turn of the 20th century, when families like the Carnegies, Rockefellers and Vanderbilts controlled vast fortunes.

Read more here.

Comments