Billionaires’ collective fortunes was $8.5tn.
Josef Stadler, UBS’s head of ultra-high net worth clients defended the inequality by saying that concerns about the widening gap between rich and poor was driven by “one-sided information”.
“Nobody asks how much value they create; they ask if the fraction they have is justified,” he said at the launch of the UBS report.
Stadler later told the FT in a private briefing that there was “bias in the media” in reporting on billionaires. “In the talk of inequality, the debate that they are too greedy, that they make too much money on the back of poor people,” he said. “The data tells me that the debate is one-sided and it’s a pity. There is a natural tendency today to be critical when it comes to wealth accumulation. There is sometimes a fear that there is a new aristocracy coming.”