Wednesday, June 08, 2016

The rising tide that only lifts the yachts

A new report finds that in 2015 the world's richest people were able to sit back and watch their assets grow by 5.2 percent to a stunning $168 trillion.

Eight percent of the world's wealth is currently owned by people worth over $100 million, whom the report defines as "ultra-high net worth individuals."

The report predicts that millionaires—those whose net worth is valued at over $1 million—will hold more than half of the world's private wealth by 2020.

In North America, a staggering 63 percent of the continent's private wealth is held by millionaires, and by 2020 millionaires are expected to own nearly 70 percent.

"For all the moral angst being expressed by business leaders and politicians about growing wealth inequality, very little is being done to change the status quo," commented Paul Nowak, general secretary of the TUC. “At a time when millions are struggling to pay their rent or get a mortgage, others are paying for swimming pools and cinemas to be constructed in the basements of their homes in Chelsea." The number of millionaire households grew by 12 percent in Britain.

Liechtenstein and Switzerland continued to boast the highest concentration of millionaires in the world, with 19 percent and 15 percent of the total population, respectively. "Yet the U.S. still has far and away the largest number of millionaires, with 8 million," CNBC notes. "China ranks second with 2.1 million, followed by Japan with 1.1 million and the United Kingdom with 961,000."

The world's wealthiest continued to evade paying taxes in 2015, increasing global offshore assets by 3 percent to nearly $10 trillion. "The top three source countries" for offshore wealth were "the China, the U.S., and the U.K.," the report stated, and Switzerland remained the number one destination for offshore funds.

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