Rich 1% own half of all the wealth

Daily Mercury - - NEWS NATION & WORLD - Ben Ken­tish The In­de­pen­dent

THE rich­est 1 per cent of peo­ple in the world now own half of the planet’s wealth, ac­cord­ing to a new re­port that high­lights breath­tak­ing lev­els of global in­equal­ity.

The study re­veals how the su­per rich have prof­ited from the af­ter­math of the 2008 Global Fi­nan­cial Cri­sis, see­ing their pro­por­tion of the world’s wealth in­crease from 42.5 per cent in the mid­dle of the cri­sis to 50.1 per cent now.

Ac­cord­ing to the Credit Su­isse Global Wealth Re­port, the top 1 per cent are worth a to­tal of $182 tril­lion – about eight times more than the US econ­omy.

The wealth­i­est 10 per cent of peo­ple, mean­while, own 87.8 per cent of global wealth.

“The down­ward trend re­versed af­ter 2008 and the share of the top 1 per cent has been on an up­ward path ever since, pass­ing the 2000 level in 2013 and achiev­ing new peaks ev­ery year there­after,” the re­port says.

The gap­ing in­equal­ity has re­sulted in a huge rise in the num­ber of mil­lion­aires and ul­tra-high-net-worth in­di­vid­u­als (those worth more than $40 mil­lion).

Since 2000, the num­ber of mil­lion­aires in the world has risen 170 per cent, to 36 mil­lion, and the num­ber of ul­tra-high-net-worth in­di­vid­u­als has in­creased five times over.

“In­creas­ing in­equal­ity can boost the speed at which new mil­lion­aires are cre­ated,” the re­port states.

At the other ex­treme, the poor­est half of Earth’s pop­u­la­tion – 3.5 bil­lion peo­ple – own just 2.7 per cent of global wealth.

Global wealth grew faster in the past year than at any time since 2010, reach­ing a to­tal of $367 tril­lion.

Ox­fam’s head of ad­vo­cacy, Katy Chakrabortty, urged gov­ern­ments to act.

“The re­cent Par­adise Pa­pers rev­e­la­tions laid bare one of the main driv­ers of in­equal­ity – tax-dodg­ing by rich in­di­vid­u­als and multi­na­tion­als,” she said.

The study also found that mil­len­ni­als faced a sig­nif­i­cant dis­ad­van­tage com­pared to older gen­er­a­tions.

In­tro­duc­ing the re­port, Urs Rohner, chair­man of Credit Su­isse, said: “Those with low wealth tend to be dis­pro­por­tion­ately found among the younger age groups, who have had lit­tle chance to ac­cu­mu­late as­sets, but we find that mil­len­ni­als face par­tic­u­larly chal­leng­ing cir­cum­stances com­pared with other gen­er­a­tions.”

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