In an annual wealth check released to mark the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the development charity Oxfam said 2018 had been a year in which the rich had grown richer and the poor poorer. As a result, the report concluded, the number of billionaires owning as much wealth as half the world’s population fell from 43 in 2017 to 26 last year. The Guardian reports:
Oxfam said the wealth of more than 2,200 billionaires across the globe had increased by $900bn in 2018 – or $2.5bn a day. The 12% increase in the wealth of the very richest contrasted with a fall of 11% in the wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population …
Among the findings of the report were:
* In the 10 years since the financial crisis, the number of billionaires has nearly doubled.
* Between 2017 and 2018 a new billionaire was created every two days.
The world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon, saw his fortune increase to $112bn. Just 1% of his fortune is equivalent to the whole health budget for Ethiopia, a country of 105 million people.