A record $31.5 trillion hoarded by corporate oligarchs
8 September 2018
According to the Wealth-X World Ultra Wealth Report 2018, 255,810 “ultra high net worth” (UHNW) individuals with a minimum $30 million in wealth now collectively own $31.5 trillion, an increase of 16.3 percent between 2016 and 2017.
In other words, a group of oligarchs equal in number to the population of Plano, Texas or Nottingham, England own more than the poorest 80 percent of the world—some 5.6 billion people.
The figures of wealth concentration are hard to fathom:
* In North America, the total number of UHNW individuals rose 9.5 percent to 90,440 and their wealth rose 13.1 percent to $11 trillion.
* In Europe, the UHNW population rose 12.8 percent to 72,570, with a total wealth of $8.8 trillion, up 13.5 percent.
* In Asia, there were 68,970 UHNW individuals in 2017, an 18.5 percent increase from 2016. Their wealth shot up 26.7 percent during this period to $8.4 trillion.
* By 2022, the UHNW population is expected to increase to 360,390 people, whose combined wealth “is projected to rise to $44.3 trillion, implying an additional $12.8 trillion of newly created wealth over the next five years.”
* Those 22.3 million people with a net worth over $1 million own a combined $91.7 trillion, almost triple the combined wealth of the poorest 90 percent of the world’s population.
The Wealth X report makes clear that the rise in wealth concentration is the product of deliberate policies enacted by governments all over the world. It credits loose monetary policy—market liberalization in China, tax reform and corporate deregulation in India, and massive tax cuts for the wealthy in the US—that the report notes were “aimed squarely at providing generous exemptions to corporations and the ultra…