World billionaire wealth tops $10 trillion as COVID-19 deaths mount

Global billionaire wealth tops $10 trillion as COVID-19 deaths mount

The collective wealth of the world’s 2,189 billionaires has risen to $10.2 trillion, a rise of practically $1.3 trillion up to now three years, in accordance with a brand new report by the Swiss financial institution UBS and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The unprecedented surge in wealth takes place amidst a worldwide pandemic that has killed multiple million individuals worldwide, together with greater than 215,000 in america alone.

The report, “Driving the Storm,” is predicated on information from 43 markets, together with interviews with 60 billionaires, accounting for round 98 p.c of worldwide billionaire wealth. It sums up the outcomes: “Many of the decade was a time of outstanding prosperity for billionaires no matter sector…”

The US continues to have the biggest focus of billionaire wealth, accounting for 36 p.c of the world’s complete, or $3.6 trillion. China ranked second with $1.6 trillion and noticed the biggest progress over the last decade, by 1,146 p.c.

Third was Germany, the place billionaire wealth totaled $594.9 billion, a rise of 175 p.c from 2009’s $216.1 billion. Whereas fourth by way of billionaire wealth at $467.6 billion, Russia noticed the smallest progress by proportion, 80 p.c, from $260.2 billion in 2009 to $467.6 billion in 2020.

The $10.2 trillion amassed by lower than .0003 p.c of the worldwide inhabitants is greater than the estimated 2020 Gross Home Product of each nation on the planet apart from the US and China. The staggering complete hoarded by lower than 2,200 individuals, or in regards to the variety of COVID-19 deaths within the US throughout the final 72 hours, surpasses the earlier excessive of $8.9 trillion recorded in 2017.

For a family incomes the common US median revenue, it could take over 16 million years to build up $1 trillion, not even sufficient to cowl what has been collectively usurped from international society in lower than three years. Joel Berg, CEO of Starvation Free America, has calculated the price of ending starvation within the US at $25 billion, which could possibly be completed 400 occasions over with $1 trillion.

The billionaires who’ve elevated their wealth probably the most, in accordance with the authors, are within the “expertise, healthcare and industrial sectors,” together with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and Fb CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The report states: “Throughout 2018, 2019 and the primary seven months of 2020, expertise billionaires’ complete wealth rose by 42.5% to USD 1.8 trillion, supported by the surge in tech shares.”

The surge in expertise and medical shares was buoyed by limitless money from the Federal Reserve, included as a part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act handed on the finish of March in a near-unanimous vote by each Democrats and Republicans.

This monetary bailout made a “huge distinction” within the fortunes of billionaires, with the authors writing: “Billionaire wealth is loosely correlated with fairness markets, as a consequence of holdings in listed firms, and some weeks makes a giant distinction. From the top of March, governments’ enormous fiscal and quantitative easing packages drove a restoration in monetary markets. By the top of July 2020, billionaire wealth was again above its 2019 stage.”

Notably obscene is the surge in wealth of billionaires within the well being care trade, within the midst of a lethal international pandemic. The authors write, “Healthcare billionaires’ complete wealth elevated by 50.3% to $658.6 billion, boosted by a brand new age of drug discovery and improvements in diagnostics and medical expertise, in addition to latterly COVID-19 remedies and gear.”

The report provides: “The variety of tech billionaires grew from 68 in 2009 to 234 in 2020, whereas the variety of healthcare billionaires grew from 48 to 167. Tech and healthcare billionaires’ complete wealth each multiplied by 4 occasions – from $321.3 billion to $1.3 trillion for tech and from $120.8 billion to $482.9 billion for healthcare.”

Tyrannosaurus rex, Palais de la Découverte, Paris (Wikimedia commons Copyright © 2005 David Monniaux)

And what are these “pandemic profiteers” spending their fortunes on? To get some concept, Christie’s public sale home in New York held its newest on-line public sale, “twentieth Century Night Sale” live-streamed from the Rockefeller Heart in New York on October 6. In a single night time, the world’s wealthiest spent over $340 million on 59 totally different twentieth and twenty first century artwork items. The public sale additionally featured the costliest dinosaur skeleton ever offered, a fossilized Tyrannosaurus rex, for $27.5 million.

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