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17 Jan, 2024 05:31

First trillionaire will appear by 2034 – charity

As the net worth of the globe's wealthiest surges, billions of people have become poorer, according to a report by Oxfam
First trillionaire will appear by 2034 – charity

The fortunes of the world’s five richest people have more than doubled since 2020 while nearly five billion people have been made poorer during that time, according to a new report by charity Oxfam released on Monday.

If current trends continue, the world will have its “first trillionaire” within a decade, whereas poverty won’t be eradicated for another 229 years, the report says.

Oxfam found that the combined fortune of the world’s wealthiest people – Tesla CEO Elon Musk, LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault and family, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Oracle founder Larry Ellison, and veteran investor Warren Buffett – has soared from $405 billion in March 2020 to $869 billion in November 2023. This puts the increase at a rate of about $14 million per hour.

The report also revealed that seven out of ten of the world’s biggest corporations have a billionaire as CEO or principal shareholder. These corporations are worth $10.2 trillion, equivalent to more than the combined GDPs of all countries in Africa and Latin America, Oxfam said.

“We’re witnessing the beginnings of a decade of division, with billions of people shouldering the economic shockwaves of pandemic, inflation and war, while billionaires’ fortunes boom. This inequality is no accident; the billionaire class is ensuring corporations deliver more wealth to them at the expense of everyone else,” said Oxfam International interim Executive Director Amitabh Behar.

According to the report, the supercharged surge in extreme wealth over the past three years has come while global poverty remains mired at pre-pandemic levels. Billionaires are on average $3.3 trillion richer than in 2020, and their wealth has grown three times faster than the rate of inflation.

“Runaway corporate and monopoly power is an inequality-generating machine: through squeezing workers, dodging tax, privatizing the state, and spurring climate breakdown, corporations are funneling endless wealth to their ultra-rich owners,” Behar added.

Meanwhile, people worldwide are “working harder and longer hours, often for poverty wages in precarious and unsafe jobs.” The wages of nearly 800 million workers have failed to keep up with inflation and they have lost $1.5 trillion over the last two years, equivalent to 25 days of lost wages for each worker, according to Oxfam.

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